excess

1 of 3

noun

ex·​cess ik-ˈses How to pronounce excess (audio) ˈek-ˌses How to pronounce excess (audio)
1
a
: the state or an instance of surpassing usual, proper, or specified limits : superfluity
b
: the amount or degree by which one thing or quantity exceeds another
an excess of 10 bushels
2
: undue or immoderate indulgence : intemperance
also : an act or instance of intemperance
prevent excesses and abuses by newly created local powers Albert Shanker

excess

2 of 3

adjective

: more than the usual, proper, or specified amount

excess

3 of 3

verb

excessed; excessing; excesses

transitive verb

: to eliminate the position of
excessed several teachers because of budget cutbacks
Phrases
in excess of
: to an amount or degree beyond : over

Examples of excess in a Sentence

Noun They were equipped with an excess of provisions. The tests found an excess of sodium in his blood. He lived a life of excess. The movie embraces all the worst excesses of popular American culture. the violent excesses of the military regime He apologized for his past excesses. Adjective Basketball provided an outlet for their excess energy. She is trying to eliminate excess fat and calories from her diet.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
The stakes just keep getting higher in this Grand Guignol of bloodthirsty excess, as bereaved government agent Soo-hyun (Lee Byung-hun) descends into shocking depravity in his pursuit of serial killer Kyung-chul (Choi Min-sik). EW.com, 2 June 2024 Guerrero has no fancy boat, no opulent house, none of the trappings of excess. Teri Sforza, Orange County Register, 31 May 2024
Adjective
The kidneys are responsible for filtering waste products and excess fluids from the blood, which are then excreted in the urine. Lauryn Higgins, Health, 10 June 2024 The California Public Utilities Commission’s new net metering policy decreased compensation for excess energy by some 75%, leading to a drop in installations. William Gavin, Quartz, 6 June 2024
Verb
Over the past few months my wife has begun drinking to excess every evening. Amy Dickinson, Anchorage Daily News, 17 July 2023 Over the past few months, my wife has begun drinking to excess every evening. Amy Dickinson, Washington Post, 17 July 2023 See all Example Sentences for excess 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'excess.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French or Late Latin; Anglo-French exces, from Late Latin excessus, from Latin, departure, projection, from excedere to exceed

First Known Use

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1971, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of excess was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near excess

Cite this Entry

“Excess.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/excess. Accessed 24 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

excess

1 of 2 noun
ex·​cess ik-ˈses How to pronounce excess (audio) ˈek-ˌses How to pronounce excess (audio)
1
: a state of being more than enough
2
a
: an amount beyond what is usual, needed, or asked
b
: the amount by which one thing or quantity exceeds another

excess

2 of 2 adjective
: more than what is usual, acceptable, or needed
excess baggage
an outlet for their excess energy

Legal Definition

excess

adjective
ex·​cess
: more than a usual or specified amount
specifically : additional to an amount specified under another insurance policy
excess coverage
excess insurance

More from Merriam-Webster on excess

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