adjective ex·or·bi·tant \ig-ˈzȯr-bə-tənt\

Definition of exorbitant

  1. 1 :  not coming within the scope of the law

  2. 2 :  exceeding the customary or appropriate limits in intensity, quality, amount, or size



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Examples of exorbitant in a sentence

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. … 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. Zevin, 1946

  4. They were charged exorbitant rates for phone calls.

  5. 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

Did You Know?

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."

Origin and Etymology of exorbitant

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

Synonym Discussion of 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

EXORBITANT Defined for English Language Learners


adjective ex·or·bi·tant \ig-ˈzȯr-bə-tənt\

Definition of exorbitant for English Language Learners

  • : going far beyond what is fair, reasonable, or expected : too high, expensive, etc.

EXORBITANT Defined for Kids


adjective ex·or·bi·tant \ig-ˈzȯr-bə-tənt\

Definition of exorbitant for Students

  1. :  more than what is fair, reasonable, or expected exorbitant prices

Seen and Heard

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a trip made at another's expense

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