ex·​or·​bi·​tant | \ ig-ˈzȯr-bə-tənt How to pronounce exorbitant (audio) \

Definition of exorbitant

1 : not coming within the scope of the law
2 : exceeding the customary or appropriate limits in intensity, quality, amount, or size

Other Words from exorbitant

exorbitantly adverb

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

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."

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
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Recent Examples on the Web But other airlines have suggested the exorbitant wait times of early summer are ancient history, something that does not seem to be reflected by customers’ stories. New York Times, 12 Nov. 2021 The movement is an offshoot of the far-right Posse Comitatus movement of the 1970s and 1980s, which believed, among other things, Jews were responsible for oppressing farmers through exorbitant loans. Bryan Schott, The Salt Lake Tribune, 10 Nov. 2021 For some drivers who have long carried the uncertainty and fear of exorbitant loans, though, the day’s news was welcome. Sean Sirota, Vogue, 4 Nov. 2021 But the exorbitant fun continues on this fifth and final night of the Grand Idea. Mitch Albom, Detroit Free Press, 31 Oct. 2021 Never mind that pretty much all market-rate housing in this city has exorbitant price tags partly because the supervisors, including those who own multimillion-dollar single-family homes, keep rejecting housing. Heather Knight, San Francisco Chronicle, 30 Oct. 2021 The letter also responded to claims that Kaepernick had turned down NFL contract offers and made exorbitant salary demands. Michael Ordoña, Los Angeles Times, 29 Oct. 2021 At times, gangs have allowed some tankers to get through, but only after paying exorbitant bribes. Matt Rivers, CNN, 26 Oct. 2021 Indeed, this Rolex routinely fetches exorbitant sums on the booming (and cutthroat) second-hand watch market. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 15 Oct. 2021

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

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First Known Use of exorbitant

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for 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

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

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Last Updated

28 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Exorbitant.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exorbitant. Accessed 7 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for exorbitant



English Language Learners Definition of exorbitant

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


ex·​or·​bi·​tant | \ ig-ˈzȯr-bə-tənt How to pronounce exorbitant (audio) \

Kids Definition of exorbitant

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

More from Merriam-Webster on exorbitant

Nglish: Translation of exorbitant for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of exorbitant for Arabic Speakers


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