verb (excels, excelling, excelled)[no object]
- 1Be exceptionally good at or proficient in an activity or subject: she excelled at landscape paintingMore example sentences
shine, be very good, be excellent, be brilliant, be outstanding, be skilful, be talented, be proficient, be expert, be pre-eminent, reign supreme, wear the crown, stand out, be the best, be unrivalled, be unparalleled, be unequalled, be without equal, be second to none, be unsurpassed• rare be unexampledsurpass, outdo, outshine, outclass, outstrip, beat, beat hollow, top, cap, transcend, be better than, be superior to, go one better than, better, pass, eclipse, overshadow, put in the shade, put to shame• archaic extinguish, outrival, outvie
- Downland not only excels in physical activities but in the academic sphere as well.
- The ceremony included the honouring of budding students of the school for excelling in various activities.
- The school chose to specialise in media after an audit showed pupils were increasingly opting for the subject and excelling.
- 1.1 (excel oneself) British Perform exceptionally well: the keeper excelled himself to keep out an Elliott headerMore example sentences
- Last week, Madonna, an assisted blonde, 45-year-old mum-of-two, excelled herself by performing a manoeuvre that looked like upside-down bicycling on stage before thousands of astonished and, it has to be said, envious fans.
- The keeper then excelled himself by reacting quickly to block the rebound from Adam and, unbelievably, Dundee were still ahead.
- The Pendle team were a little thin on the ground, but those who did compete excelled themselves with a total of 16 personal best performances.
late Middle English: from Latin excellere, from ex- 'out, beyond' + celsus 'lofty'.