Definition of exception in English:

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Pronunciation: /ɪkˈsɛpʃ(ə)n/
Pronunciation: /ɛkˈsɛpʃ(ə)n/


A person or thing that is excluded from a general statement or does not follow a rule: he always plays top tunes, and tonight was no exception the administrator made an exception in the Colonel’s case and waived the normal visiting hours
More example sentences
  • There are a number of well-established exceptions to the general rule and their list is not closed.
  • I have a friend and neighbour called Peter Thomson who is an exception to the general rule.
  • An exception to this general rule is formed by a cheque which bears on its front the letter R.
anomaly, irregularity, deviation, special case, departure, inconsistency, quirk, peculiarity, abnormality, oddity;
informal freak



the exception proves the rule

proverb The fact that some cases do not follow a rule proves that the rule applies in all other cases.
Example sentences
  • That is the one part where the exception proves the rule.
  • Regarding the previous posting about the Washington Post OpEd, one could counter with ‘the exception proves the rule’ - wrong.
  • Those who did not, such as Desmond Tutu, were the exceptions that proved the rule.

take exception to

Object strongly to: many viewers took great exception to the programme’s content
More example sentences
  • While we're no exception, we do take exception to those who think this is the beginning of the end of business on the Internet as we know it.
  • The Attorney-General Philip Ruddock took exception to that, and took the rare step of publicly criticising the Police Commissioner.
  • He hit her repeatedly on the head with a hammer after she made a throwaway remark he took exception to in a Halifax pub where she had been relaxing with friends.
object, raise an objection, express objections;
be offended by, take offence at, take umbrage at, resent, demur at, disagree with, cavil at, argue against, protest against, lodge a protest against, take a stand against, oppose, complain about
informal kick up a fuss about, kick up a stink about, beef about, gripe about

with the exception of

Except; not including: all water sports, with the exception of scuba diving, are complimentary
More example sentences
  • The first half was utterly forgettable with the exception of just a few saving graces.
  • Same thing happens over here as well with the exception of only a love relationship.
  • If someone asks me how to spell a word, with the exception of just a few, I get it right.
except, except for, excepting, excluding, not including, omitting, leaving out, not counting, but, besides, barring, bar, other than, exclusive of, saving, save, apart from, aside from;
with the omission of, with the exclusion of
informal outside of
archaic forbye

without exception

With no one or nothing excluded: almost without exception, all the residents are opposed to this vandalism
More example sentences
  • All of what he says about Derrida's thought is, without exception, false.
  • Everyone is exceptionally polite, and everyone seems to speak English, without exception very good English.
  • If one whole side on any issue chooses almost without exception to remain silent then the discussion simply doesn't take place.


Late Middle English: via Old French from Latin exceptio(n-), from excipere 'take out' (see except).

Words that rhyme with exception

conception, contraception, deception, inception, interception, misconception, perception, reception

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: ex|cep¦tion

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