Meaning of EXCESS in English

I. ikˈses, ˈekˌses, ekˈses noun

( -es )

Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French or Late Latin; Middle French excès, from Late Latin excessus, from Latin, departure, from excessus, past participle of excedere to go forth, exceed — more at exceed


a. : a state of surpassing or going beyond limits : the fact of being in a measure beyond sufficiency, necessity, or duty : superfluity , superabundance

excess of grief

an excess of provisions

b. : something that exceeds what is usual, proper, proportionate. or specified

she was serious almost to excess — Aldous Huxley

c. : the amount or degree by which one thing or number exceeds another

there was an excess of 10 bushels over what was needed to fill the bin

the excess of 12 plus 2 over 12 minus 2 is 4

2. : undue or immoderate indulgence : intemperance especially in eating and drinking

excess at table is seldom healthful

— often used in plural

their excesses led to their expulsion from the congregation


superfluity , surplus , surplusage , overplus : excess may be used of any exceeding or going beyond measure, limits, or accustomed bounds

an excess of carbon dioxide in the air

an excess of supply over demand

It is often used in connection with culpable lack of moderation, temperance, and restraint

I have a considerable affection for the Empire style, of which I bought a houseful when it could be bought for half nothing. But the excesses of the style are terrible — Arnold Bennett

Washington began with the prestige of a unanimous election and ended, as his farewell address plainly reveals, with a deep abhorrence of the excesses of intense party spirit — A.N.Holcombe

superfluity may refer to a vain, wasteful, or embarrassing excess, over actual needs

as I have a certain amount of money to spare and am possessed by the strange desire to collect unnecessary objects, I succumb easily to anyone who asks me to buy superfluities and luxuries — Aldous Huxley

not the lack of expressive power, but the superfluity. He was profusely and indiscriminately loquacious — Virginia Woolf

surplus applies to whatever is left after all needed has been used or expended; it is often used in reference to money or to valuable commodities

the company books showing a surplus

the Patent Office has become one of the relatively few government establishments that not only pay their way, but normally yield a surplus — F.A.Ogg & P.O.Ray

nearly every farmer had an apple press with which he prepared adequate quantities of cider and vinegar for family consumption, and frequently there were surpluses to market — W.M.Kollmorgen

surplusage may refer to an unjustified or useless excess

the Senate conferees took the position that the usage of the word “prior” was unnecessary and was mere surplusage — U.S.Code

overplus may designate an unnecessary addition or adventitious augmentation

we entered the Rectory drive, the car poked at by the wild overplus of vegetation which was certainly not that of a normal garden — Wyndham Lewis

- in excess of

- to excess

II. ˈekˌses, ikˈs-, ekˈs- adjective

Etymology: Middle English, from excess, n.

1. : more than or above the usual or specified amount : that constitutes an excess

excess property on hand after a contract ends

the body tends to rid itself of its excess nitrogen — H.G.Armstrong

excess sleep may be a sign of a disturbance — Morris Fishbein

2. : exceeding in weight or size an allowance transportable without charge

excess baggage

III. ikˈses, ˈekˌses, ekˈses transitive verb

( -ed/-ing/-es )

Etymology: excess , noun

: to eliminate the position of

the decline in enrollment has allowed us to excess about 75 teachers — Stuart Binion

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.