Synonym Chooser

How does the verb exceed contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of exceed are excel, outdo, outstrip, surpass, and transcend. While all these words mean "to go or be beyond a stated or implied limit, measure, or degree," exceed implies going beyond a limit set by authority or established by custom or by prior achievement.

exceed the speed limit

When would excel be a good substitute for exceed?

Although the words excel and exceed have much in common, excel implies preeminence in achievement or quality and may suggest superiority to all others.

excels in mathematics

When is it sensible to use outdo instead of exceed?

The words outdo and exceed are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, outdo applies to a bettering or exceeding what has been done before.

outdid herself this time

Where would outstrip be a reasonable alternative to exceed?

The synonyms outstrip and exceed are sometimes interchangeable, but outstrip suggests surpassing in a race or competition.

outstripped other firms in sales

When could surpass be used to replace exceed?

In some situations, the words surpass and exceed are roughly equivalent. However, surpass suggests superiority in quality, merit, or skill.

the book surpassed our expectations

When is transcend a more appropriate choice than exceed?

While the synonyms transcend and exceed are close in meaning, transcend implies a rising or extending notably above or beyond ordinary limits.

transcended the values of their culture

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Cite this Entry

“Exceed.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/exceed. Accessed 28 Feb. 2024.

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