ex·​cep·​tion | \ ik-ˈsep-shən How to pronounce exception (audio) \
plural exceptions

Essential Meaning of exception

1 : someone or something that is different from others : someone or something that is not included I like all his books, with one exception. [=I like all but one of his books] The decision was supported by almost everyone, the single/sole exception being me. [=everyone supported the decision but me] Her parties are always elegant, and last night's party was no exception. [=last night's party was also elegant]
2 : a case where a rule does not apply There will be no exceptions to this rule. We'll make an exception [=allow the rule not to be followed] this time.

Full Definition of exception

1 : the act of excepting : exclusion
2 : one that is excepted especially : a case to which a rule does not apply
3 : question, objection witnesses whose authority is beyond exception— T. B. Macaulay — see also take exception
4 : an oral or written legal objection

Examples of exception in a Sentence

There will be no exceptions to this rule. I take strong exception to your assessment of his singing ability.
Recent Examples on the Web Not only does half the show take place in a wilderness with little to no technology, its modern segments feature heroines who largely eschew it, with the possible exception of Misty, who is now herself a true-crime junky. Angela Watercutter, Wired, 16 Jan. 2022 Riley said most campus services will move to remote work as well, with the exception of housing, dining, security and maintenance services. Thomas Saccente, Arkansas Online, 15 Jan. 2022 With the notable exception of France, few territories have an answer. Angus Finney, Variety, 15 Jan. 2022 With the exception of Trump, Biden is in the worst shape of any of them. Chris Cillizza, CNN, 14 Jan. 2022 That's not enough to hit the continental United States, or Hawaii and Alaska for that matter, with the exception of the farthest reaches of the Aleutian Islands chain. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, 13 Jan. 2022 With the exception of Russell Wilson and Lamar Jackson — who missed his last four games — the top quarterbacks are in the playoffs. San Diego Union-Tribune, 12 Jan. 2022 Lovato cleared their Instagram feed shortly after shaving their head, with the exception of a single post of them showing off the new buzz cut. Starr Bowenbank, Billboard, 11 Jan. 2022 Most shows will be safely held at outdoor venues, with the exception of the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville and Massey Hall in Toronto. Angie Martoccio, Rolling Stone, 10 Jan. 2022

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'exception.' 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 exception

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for exception

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

19 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Exception.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exception. Accessed 19 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for exception


ex·​cep·​tion | \ ik-ˈsep-shən How to pronounce exception (audio) \

Kids Definition of exception

1 : someone or something that is not included I returned all the books with one exception.
2 : a case to which a rule does not apply We'll make an exception this time.
3 : an objection or a reason for objecting usually used with take He took exception to the change.



Legal Definition of exception

1 : something that is excepted or excluded especially : a situation to which a rule does not apply the Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction, both as to law and fact, with such exceptions, and under such regulations as the Congress shall make U.S. Constitution art. III
2 : an act of excepting especially : exclusion of a section of real property from a conveyance — compare reservation
3 : a usually written objection especially to a judge's ruling filed an exception raising a question regarding jury instructions used especially in equity proceedings — see also bill of exceptions at bill sense 3a

More from Merriam-Webster on exception

Nglish: Translation of exception for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of exception for Arabic Speakers


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