ex·​cur·​sus | \ ik-ˈskər-səs How to pronounce excursus (audio) \
plural excursuses also excursus\ ik-​ˈskər-​səs How to pronounce excursus (audio) , -​ˌsüs \

Definition of excursus

: an appendix or digression that contains further exposition of some point or topic

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for excursus



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of excursus in a Sentence

this biography of Eleanor of Aquitaine contains an interesting excursus on the status of women in the Middle Ages
Recent Examples on the Web Stylistically, some of the stories occasionally slip into excursus, a tell-don’t-show technique that is handy for unpacking scientific details or philosophical musings but risks sounding like a proof or a succession of lemmas. Sheon Han, The New Republic, "Why Are Literature and Philosophy Such an Awkward Match?," 23 Feb. 2021 There’s a detailed excursus into the California gubernatorial race of 1934, which Upton Sinclair lost, running on a poverty-fighting platform. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "“Mank” and the Making of “Citizen Kane”," 13 Nov. 2020 His process involves a series of sketches, long textual excursuses and model-making with his team. Nikil Saval, New York Times, "The Architect Making Conceptual Art Out of Buildings," 2 Mar. 2020 There are long critical essays, short book reviews, reportage with a literary inflection, histories, missives, diary entries, aphorisms, parables, advice, dreams, a test, fictional excursus and, yes, lists. Zachary Fine, WSJ, "‘Attention’ Review: Anatomist of Our Disorder," 30 Aug. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of excursus

1803, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for excursus

Latin, digression, from excurrere

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about excursus

Time Traveler for excursus

Time Traveler

The first known use of excursus was in 1803

See more words from the same year

Statistics for excursus

Last Updated

8 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Excursus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/excursus. Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

More from Merriam-Webster on excursus

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for excursus

Comments on excursus

What made you want to look up excursus? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Who Knew?

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!