ex·​cept | \ ik-ˈsept How to pronounce except (audio) \
variants: or less commonly excepting \ ik-​ˈsep-​tiŋ How to pronounce except (audio) \

Definition of except

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: with the exclusion or exception of daily except Sundays


excepted; excepting; excepts

Definition of except (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

: to take or leave out from a number or a whole : exclude


variants: or less commonly excepting

Definition of except (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : on any other condition than that : unless except you repent
2 : with this exception, namely was inaccessible except by boat
3 : only often followed by that I would go except that it's too far

Other Words from except


exceptive \ ik-​ˈsep-​təv How to pronounce except (audio) \ adjective

Examples of except in a Sentence

Preposition The stores will be open daily except Sundays. the store is open daily except Sundays Verb Children were excepted from the study. I must except to your remark that there are no great novelists currently living. Conjunction I'd go, except it's too far.
Recent Examples on the Web: Preposition At Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort, face masks are required in public areas, except when dining or swimming, capacity of public areas will be limited, and housekeeping and public area attendants will increase their cleaning procedures. Elizabeth Rhodes, Travel + Leisure, 4 June 2020 The city advised all residents to stay inside except those going to and from work and anyone seeking or giving emergency care, according to Mayor Eric Garcetti's official Twitter account. NBC News, 1 June 2020 Since then, every president except Nixon, Reagan, and George H.W. Bush has created national monuments. National Geographic, 29 May 2020 Most of these pools,except McKie, are wheelchair accessible, according to the Cincinnati Recreation Commission's website. Cincinnati Enquirer, 27 May 2020 No one is allowed inside her home except those helping her, White's representative told Today. Alaa Elassar, CNN, 25 May 2020 Under Supreme Court precedents related to the principles of separation of power, Congress – one branch of government – cannot remove an official in the executive branch – another branch of government – except by impeachment. Stanley M. Brand, The Conversation, 22 May 2020 The whole story sounds as apocryphal as most of the other origin stories connected to Warhol—except that one biographer claims to have seen the actual check Warhol wrote to Latow. Blake Gopnik, Smithsonian Magazine, 16 Apr. 2020 The government in Madrid has imposed some of the most restrictive lockdown measures in Europe, shuttering most businesses and forcing people to stay in their homes except to buy groceries and seek healthcare. Sonia Sirletti, Bloomberg.com, 10 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Community transmissions in the country have mostly been brought to a halt, and most businesses — excepting cinemas, theme parks and live entertainment venues — have reopened their doors. Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter, 1 May 2020 But this will be the first time viewers will be able to stream live programming from PBS through a digital service, excepting some anomalies over the years like the now-defunct Aero service and the like. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, 29 July 2019 Diplomats, however, had been excepted and some have been trying to bend the rules to bring in their families. Alissa J. Rubin, New York Times, 13 Mar. 2020 On Sunday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that gatherings be limited to 50 people or less for the next eight weeks, with the day-to-day operation of schools and businesses excepted. Jorge L. Ortiz, USA TODAY, 16 Mar. 2020 The measure is excepted to reduce the state’s 96,000 prison population by 4,800 for a potential savings of $50 million. John Haughey, Washington Examiner, 27 Feb. 2020 Trump’s ban on admission of travelers from Europe (excepting Ireland and the United Kingdom) took European governments by surprise. Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner, 14 Mar. 2020 As the planet cooled in subsequent millennia, these canids expanded their range, evolving into foxes and eventually reaching every continent excepting Antarctica. David James, Anchorage Daily News, 23 Feb. 2020 The rules for formal languages may grow more and more complex, but all robust general programming languages (excepting regex, HTML, and a few other specific things) are reducible to a Turing-complete grammar like this. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, 9 Jan. 2020 See More

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

First Known Use of except


14th century, in the meaning defined above


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for except


Middle English, from Anglo-French excepter, from Latin exceptare, frequentative of excipere to take out, except, from ex- + capere to take — more at heave entry 1

Learn More About except

Time Traveler for except

Time Traveler

The first known use of except was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near except

excentric, excentrical



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Cite this Entry

“Except.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/except. Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for except


ex·​cept | \ ik-ˈsept How to pronounce except (audio) \

Kids Definition of except

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : not including We're open every day except Sundays.
2 : other than : but She told everyone except me.



Kids Definition of except (Entry 2 of 3)

: if it were not for the fact that : only I'd go, except it's too far.


excepted; excepting

Kids Definition of except (Entry 3 of 3)

: to leave out from a number or a whole : exclude Children are excepted from the requirements.


transitive verb
ex·​cept | \ ik-ˈsept \

Legal Definition of except

: to take or leave out (as from insurance coverage or a deed) : exclude specifically excepted the air carriers and unions from the provisions— M. A. Kelly

intransitive verb

: object especially : to file a bill of exceptions or make a formal exception excepted to the judge's order

More from Merriam-Webster on except

Nglish: Translation of except for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of except for Arabic Speakers


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