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

Example Sentences

an excessive display of wealth High fever, nausea, and excessive sweating are some of the symptoms.
Recent Examples on the Web Larry McCallon and Carlos Rodriguez, two air district governing board members, described the costs to homeowners as excessive. Tony Briscoestaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 5 Dec. 2022 But while Heyward did help the Cubs earn a World Series ring in 2016 and Grandal and Keuchel both performed well enough during the Sox’s postseason run in 2020, the contracts ultimately were deemed excessive. Paul Sullivan, Chicago Tribune, 4 Dec. 2022 The Farmington school district is only legally obligated to provide a day off when a religious holiday impacts school operations, i.e. excessive staff or student absences for holiday observation. Alison Cross, Hartford Courant, 4 Dec. 2022 Residents of some areas complain that local officials impose excessive quarantines and other restrictions in response to a spike in infections that began in October. Arkansas Online, 3 Dec. 2022 Police said excessive speed and impairment seem to have played a role in the crash. Quinlan Bentley, The Enquirer, 3 Dec. 2022 Taking more sacks: In Houston, the offensive line took the blame for Watson’s excessive sacks. Terry Pluto, cleveland, 3 Dec. 2022 Residents of some areas complain that local officials, who are threatened with being fired if an outbreak occurs, impose excessive quarantines and other restrictions in response to a spike in infections that began in October. Joe Mcdonald, BostonGlobe.com, 2 Dec. 2022 Try to avoid escapism in April; this may show up in the form of video games, excessive TV watching, overworking, or doomscrolling on your phone. Meghan Rose, Glamour, 1 Dec. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'excessive.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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 8 Dec. 2022.

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

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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