exorbitant

adjective

ex·​or·​bi·​tant ig-ˈzȯr-bə-tənt How to pronounce exorbitant (audio)
1
: not coming within the scope of the law
2
: exceeding the customary or appropriate limits in intensity, quality, amount, or size
exorbitantly adverb

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How Was exorbitant First Used?

The first use of "exorbitant" in English was "wandering or deviating from the normal or ordinary course." That sense is now archaic, but it provides a hint as to the origins of "exorbitant": the word derives from Late Latin exorbitans, the present participle of the verb exorbitare, meaning "to deviate." "Exorbitare" in turn was formed by combining the prefix ex-, meaning "out of," with the noun orbita, meaning "track of a wheel or "rut." ("Orbita" itself traces back to "orbis," the Latin word for "disk" or "hoop.") In the 15th century "exorbitant" came to refer to something which fell outside of the normal or intended scope of the law. Eventually, it developed an extended sense as a synonym of "excessive."

Choose the Right Synonym for exorbitant

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 exorbitant in a Sentence

The citizens of Xiaoli Village move lazily, with a languor born of chronic underemployment. They are farmers by tradition, but exorbitant taxes have leached any profitability out of their profession. Hannah Beech, Time, 27 Oct. 2003
As with the black truffle, foie gras is as exorbitant ($52 a pound) as it is decadent (one gram of foie gras can reportedly be 900 calories). Heather Morgan, Traveler, April 2000
… I recommend that the Congress adopt … [a] continuation of the law for the renegotiation of war contracts—which will prevent exorbitant profits and assure fair prices to the Government. Franklin D. Roosevelt 11 Jan. 1944, in Nothing to Fear by B. D. Zevin1946
They were charged exorbitant rates for phone calls. the cost of our stay was so exorbitant you would have thought that we had bought the hotel and not just spent a few nights there
Recent Examples on the Web The World Cup cost is exorbitant, and hopefully Stephen Ross is chipping in his share since the games will be at his stadium. Greg Cote, Miami Herald, 12 May 2024 Hamas steals it and then sells any surplus back to its people, no doubt at exorbitant prices. Letters To The Editor, Orange County Register, 12 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for exorbitant 

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

Middle English, from Late Latin exorbitant-, exorbitans, present participle of exorbitare to deviate, from Latin ex- + orbita track of a wheel, rut, from orbis disk, hoop

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

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Dictionary Entries Near exorbitant

Cite this Entry

“Exorbitant.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exorbitant. Accessed 24 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

exorbitant

adjective
ex·​or·​bi·​tant ig-ˈzȯr-bət-ənt How to pronounce exorbitant (audio)
: going beyond the limits of what is fair, reasonable, or expected
exorbitant prices
exorbitantly adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on exorbitant

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