ex·​ces·​sive ik-ˈse-siv How to pronounce excessive (audio)
: exceeding what is usual, proper, necessary, or normal
excessively adverb
excessiveness noun
Choose the Right Synonym for excessive

excessive, immoderate, inordinate, extravagant, exorbitant, extreme mean going beyond a normal limit.

excessive implies an amount or degree too great to be reasonable or acceptable.

excessive punishment

immoderate implies lack of desirable or necessary restraint.

immoderate spending

inordinate implies an exceeding of the limits dictated by reason or good judgment.

inordinate pride

extravagant implies an indifference to restraints imposed by truth, prudence, or good taste.

extravagant claims for the product

exorbitant implies a departure from accepted standards regarding amount or degree.

exorbitant prices

extreme may imply an approach to the farthest limit possible or conceivable but commonly means only to a notably high degree.

extreme shyness

Examples of excessive in a Sentence

an excessive display of wealth High fever, nausea, and excessive sweating are some of the symptoms.
Recent Examples on the Web The Central Valley is under an excessive heat watch, with a chance of soaring to 110 degrees in the San Joaquin Valley. Hayley Smith, Los Angeles Times, 2 June 2024 The Kansas City Police Department has recently paid out more than $6.8 million in settlements for incidents including a police chase, false imprisonment and excessive force. Payouts from February 2023 to February 2024 totaled $6,810,001, according to records. Katie Moore, Kansas City Star, 29 May 2024 Climate change, the invisible hand exacerbating the hot, arid conditions that parch the land, is being compounded by the relentless expansion of croplands, excessive tilling, overgrazing and removal of native windbreaks. Chicago Tribune, 25 May 2024 The bill limited qualified immunity for officers, prevented racial profiling and restricted the use of excessive force. Nikole Killion, CBS News, 24 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for excessive 

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

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near excessive

Cite this Entry

“Excessive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/excessive. Accessed 13 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


ex·​ces·​sive ik-ˈses-iv How to pronounce excessive (audio)
: showing excess : too much
excessively adverb
excessiveness noun

Legal Definition


: exceeding what is proper, necessary, or normal
specifically : being out of proportion to the offense
excessive bail

More from Merriam-Webster on excessive

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