ex·​cres·​cence ik-ˈskre-sᵊn(t)s How to pronounce excrescence (audio)
: a projection or outgrowth especially when abnormal
warty excrescences in the colon
: a disfiguring, extraneous, or unwanted mark or part : blot

Did you know?

Warts and pimples are common excrescences that can usually be wiped out with medication; other excrescences such as cysts and tumors need to be removed surgically. Mushrooms are the excrescences of underground fungus networks. Some people consider slang words to be vulgar excrescences on the English language, but others consider slang the most colorful vocabulary of all.

Examples of excrescence in a Sentence

concerned about the weird excrescence that seemed to be developing on his hand local residents regard the hulking apartment building as a hideous excrescence on their once-lovely street
Recent Examples on the Web But if the art market seems like an excrescence on a more limited and refined definition of the art world — focused on art, artists, museums, nonprofit arts organizations and the passion of art lovers and connoisseurs — then Sotheby’s capture of the building is impossible to celebrate. Philip Kennicott, Washington Post, 6 June 2023 One suspects that that weird brown hair-excrescence thing had something to do with it. Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, 15 Jan. 2021 Each generation sees the technological advances of the previous era—no matter how near—as excrescences of an ancient world. Maël Renouard, Harper's Magazine, 27 Apr. 2020 His nationalism, in expression hyperbolic enough, essentially takes the form of virulent tropes of anti-socialism, anti-feminism and homophobia, excrescences alien to the Brazilian soul. Will Meyer, Longreads, 4 Oct. 2019 This concrete excrescence, remnant of a barbaric plan to encase the city in freeways, isn’t necessary and could be scrubbed off the landscape with a little bit of enlightened leadership. Philip Kennicott, Washington Post, 30 Aug. 2019 Various external forces coincided to make Kuma’s flirtation with monumental excrescences an abortive one. Nikil Saval, New York Times, 15 Feb. 2018 His evidence comes not only from obscure and difficult literary testimonia but from tree rings, ice cores and speleothems (excrescences found in caves from which ancient humidity levels can be deduced). James Romm, WSJ, 27 Oct. 2017 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'excrescence.' 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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of excrescence was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near excrescence

Cite this Entry

“Excrescence.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/excrescence. Accessed 1 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


ex·​cres·​cence ek-ˈskres-ᵊn(t)s How to pronounce excrescence (audio)
: outgrowth sense 1
especially : an abnormal outgrowth (as a wart) on the body

Medical Definition


ex·​cres·​cence ik-ˈskres-ᵊn(t)s How to pronounce excrescence (audio)
: an outgrowth or enlargement: as
: a natural and normal appendage or development
hair is an excrescence from the scalp
: an abnormal outgrowth
warty excrescences in the colon
excrescent adjective

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