Definition of except in English:

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Pronunciation: /ikˈsept/


Not including; other than: naked except for my socks they work every day except Sunday
More example sentences
  • I looked around, but it was dark outside except for one street light at the corner a short way ahead of me.
  • Everything is very quiet, except for the occasional floomfing sound of snow falling off pine trees and cedars.
  • John and Norma Major filmed entirely in grey tone, except for the peas.
excluding, not including, excepting, omitting, not counting, but, besides, apart from, aside from, barring, bar, other than, saving;
with the exception of, save for
informal outside of


1Used before a statement that forms an exception to one just made: I didn’t tell him anything, except that I needed the money our berets were the same except mine had a leather band inside
More example sentences
  • I have a similar problem, except that mine is all to do with people who are lost.
  • Mr Greeno in his first statement said nothing about this except that the owner was not CCUK.
  • It felt like I was in the torture scene from a science fiction movie, except that it didn't hurt.
1.1 archaic Unless: she never offered advice, except it were asked of her
More example sentences
  • Till today he never talks about my work except to offer bits of useful criticism.


[with object] formal
Specify as not included in a category or group; exclude: he excepted from his criticism a handful of distinguished writers
More example sentences
  • There are a few abbreviations, things like SMTP and HTTP and such, that are specifically excepted from this rule.
  • Not a creature was to be seen in the room or at the door as I passed out - always excepting the man with the cough.
  • Yorkshire women were to be excepted from any criticism he added, because they ‘always have dinner on the table when you get home’.
exclude, omit, leave out, count out, disregard;


See accept (usage).


Late Middle English: from Latin except- 'taken out', from the verb excipere, from ex- 'out of' + capere 'take'.

  • capable from mid 16th century:

    The first recorded sense of this was ‘able to take in’, physically or mentally. It comes from Latin capere ‘take or hold’ which is found in many other English words including: accept (Late Middle English) from ad- ‘to’ and capere; anticipation (Late Middle English) ‘acting or taking in advance’; capacity (Late Middle English) ‘ability to hold’; caption (Late Middle English) originally an act of capture; captive (Late Middle English); catch (Middle English); chase (Middle English); conceive (Middle English) literally ‘take together’; except (Late Middle English) ‘take out of’; incapacity (early 17th century) inability to hold; intercept (Late Middle English) to take between; perceive (Middle English) to hold entirely; prince; receive (Middle English) ‘take back’; susceptible (early 17th century) literally ‘that can be taken from below’.

Words that rhyme with except

accept, crept, incept, inept, intercept, kept, leapt, overleaped, sept, slept, swept, upswept, wept, yclept

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ex·cept

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