Definition of excess in English:

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Pronunciation: /ɪkˈsɛs/
Pronunciation: /ɛkˈsɛs/ Pronunciation: /ˈɛksɛs/


1An amount of something that is more than necessary, permitted, or desirable: are you suffering from an excess of stress in your life?
More example sentences
  • Although useful in small amounts, an excess of these hormones continuously and over time, can damage the arteries and heart muscle and lead to the development of high blood pressure.
  • The genealogy is close to star-shaped, so, as in the case of population growth, we expect an excess of rare variants in our sample relative to the standard neutral model.
  • As much as I don't want those resources put to ineffectual uses, I also don't want it to go to waste since it's not like there is an excess of resources to go around.
surplus, surfeit, overabundance, superabundance, superfluity, oversufficiency, profusion, plethora, glut;
too much, more than enough, enough and to spare
informal more … than one can shake a stick at
rare nimiety
1.1The amount by which one quantity or number exceeds another: as regards other cancers in this age group, there is a small excess during 1984—90
More example sentences
  • The operating ratio condensed the year-end result into a single figure: the average excess of operating expenses over operating revenues per day.
  • It was estimated that other government revenue was likely to be an additional 50 billion baht above target figure, leaving a total excess of 170 billion baht.
  • The fact that reducing Quota or increasing milk herd size would tend to increase the likelihood of a milk excess in relation to Quota, cannot mean that they must be treated identically.
1.2 [mass noun] The action of exceeding a permitted or acceptable limit: there is no issue as to excess of jurisdiction
More example sentences
  • Because, every now and again, a bit of complete excess is perfectly acceptable.
  • That an 18 year old athlete should have a double chin just a couple of months after a foot injury is a throwback to the 1980's when excess was acceptable.
  • But Shanahan's isn't about bargain food, it's the acceptable face of excess.
2 [mass noun] Lack of moderation, especially in eating or drinking: bouts of alcoholic excess
More example sentences
  • For young people with few prospects beyond stolid lives punctuated by bouts of alcoholic excess, it's easy to understand the allure of more irreverent, less traditional ways of life.
  • Caught in a downward spiral of depression, dissipation and alcoholic excess, Boswell died on 19 May 1795.
  • Minors are clearly not allowed and no excess drinking please!
overindulgence, overconsumption, intemperance, intemperateness, immoderation, profligacy, lack of restraint, prodigality, lavishness, excessiveness, extravagance, decadence, self-indulgence, self-gratification, debauchery, dissipation, dissolution, dissoluteness
2.1 (excesses) Outrageous or immoderate behaviour: the worst excesses of the French Revolution
More example sentences
  • Moreover, the proportion of excesses for incidence and mortality was very similar.
  • There are no mentions of mass starvation, torture, concentration camps or the excesses of the current regime.
  • After the excesses of New Year's Eve, today's the day to pledge a healthier lifestyle for 2003.
3British A part of an insurance claim to be paid by the insured: we will deduct the excess from the loss and then pay up to the policy limit
More example sentences
  • This is a popular method of reducing premiums by increasing excesses and many insured are caught unawares.
  • However, he accepted that, if the excess of the insured value over the market value were so great that it suggested a moral hazard, the underwriter would not insure the vessel.
  • She is claiming just over £400, a sum which includes the excess on her car insurance claim, used to pay for replacement locks.


Pronunciation: /ˈɛksɛs/
1Exceeding a prescribed or desirable amount: trim any excess fat off the meat
More example sentences
  • Fat cells produce excess amounts of the female hormone oestrogen, which can speed up the natural process of cell division and so lead to a higher risk of a cancer cell being formed.
  • So if you increase the amount of excess carbs you eat, you can increase your fat stores and add unwanted size to your physique.
  • I had a good time, but I'm really tired this morning, and I have an excess amount of junk food left at my house that I need to get rid of.
surplus, superfluous, spare, redundant, unwanted, unneeded, unused, excessive, leftover;
extra, additional, reserve
2British Required as extra payment: the full excess fare had to be paid
More example sentences
  • Other unique features of the Legal Shield policy are the lack of a waiting period and the ‘no - excess payment’ requirement in the event of a claim.
  • They negotiated their gold ransom for the kidnapped Freia with all the dogged, gormless determination of a ticket collector extracting an excess fare.
  • There are 2 windows, 1 behind the barriers for excess fares and the expired and one before the barriers for normal tickets.



in (or to) excess

Exceeding the proper amount or degree: she insisted that he did not drink to excess
More example sentences
  • The lesson is: don't eat fatty foods in excess, don't drink in excess, don't smoke at all, and keep fit.
  • He thought people also drank to excess because young people had more disposable income than ever before.
  • The stalks contain oxalic acid, which is harmful if eaten to excess, but the amounts are no greater than those in spinach and chard, for example.

in excess of

More than: a top speed in excess of 20 knots
More example sentences
  • It was a special club draw for clubs selling in excess of twenty tickets above the quota.
  • The rocket left the pad, reaching a velocity in excess of five times the speed of sound in a couple of seconds.
  • Anthony revved the engine of the BMW on the main road doing well in excess of the speed limit.
more than, over, above, over and above, upwards of, beyond


Late Middle English: via Old French from Latin excessus, from excedere 'go out, surpass' (see exceed).

Words that rhyme with excess

acquiesce, address, assess, Bess, bless, bouillabaisse, caress, cess, chess, coalesce, compress, confess, convalesce, cress, deliquesce, digress, dress, duchesse, duress, effervesce, effloresce, evanesce, express, fess, finesse, fluoresce, guess, Hesse, impress, incandesce, intumesce, jess, largesse, less, manageress, mess, ness, noblesse, obsess, oppress, outguess, phosphoresce, politesse, possess, press, priestess, princess, process, profess, progress, prophetess, regress, retrogress, stress, success, suppress, tendresse, top-dress, transgress, tress, tristesse, underdress, vicomtesse, yes

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: ex¦cess

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