Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The state of exceeding what is normal or sufficient: rains that filled the reservoirs to excess.
  • n. An amount or quantity beyond what is normal or sufficient; a surplus.
  • n. The amount or degree by which one quantity exceeds another: Profit is the excess of sales over costs.
  • n. Intemperance; overindulgence: drank to excess.
  • n. A behavior or an action that exceeds proper or lawful bounds: tried to avoid engaging in emotional excesses such as hysteria and fits of temper.
  • adj. Being more than is usual, required, or permitted: skimming off the excess fat. See Synonyms at superfluous.
  • transitive v. To eliminate the job or position of.
  • idiom in excess of Greater than; more than: unit sales in excess of 20 million.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The state of surpassing or going beyond limits; the being of a measure beyond sufficiency, necessity, or duty; that which exceeds what is usual or proper; immoderateness; superfluity; superabundance; extravagance; as, an excess of provisions or of light.
  • n. The degree or amount by which one thing or number exceeds another; remainder; as, the difference between two numbers is the excess of one over the other.
  • n. An undue indulgence of the appetite; transgression of proper moderation in natural gratifications; intemperance; dissipation.
  • n. Spherical excess, the amount by which the sum of the three angles of a spherical triangle exceeds two right angles. The spherical excess is proportional to the area of the triangle.
  • n. A condition on an insurance policy by which the insured pays for the first part of any claim, in exchange for a lower premium.
  • adj. More than is normal, necessary or specified

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The state of surpassing or going beyond limits; the being of a measure beyond sufficiency, necessity, or duty; that which exceeds what is usual or proper; immoderateness; superfluity; superabundance; extravagance.
  • n. An undue indulgence of the appetite; transgression of proper moderation in natural gratifications; intemperance; dissipation.
  • n. The degree or amount by which one thing or number exceeds another; remainder.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A going beyond ordinary, necessary, or proper limits; superfluity in number, quantity, or amount; undue quantity; superabundance: as, an excess of provisions; excess of bile in the system.
  • n. Undue indulgence of appetite; want of restraint in gratifying the desires; intemperance; over-indulgence.
  • n. The amount by which one number or quantity exceeds another; overplus; surplus: as, the excess of revenue over expenditures is so much.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the state of being more than full
  • n. a quantity much larger than is needed
  • adj. more than is needed, desired, or required
  • n. excessive indulgence
  • n. immoderation as a consequence of going beyond sufficient or permitted limits

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French, from Latin excessus, past participle of excēdere, to exceed; see exceed.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English exces ("excess, ecstasy"), from Latin excessus ("a going out, loss of self-possession"), from excedere, excessum ("to go out, go beyond"). See exceed. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Anything in excess is bad and that means our children should learn there is time for play time (with real toys not some console), video game time, reading time, TV time and general do nothing time.

    Readership Numbers...More or Less

  • No surprise then that Wal-Mart Realty currently has 145 empty buildings on its hands -- what they call "excess property," totaling a staggering 12.6 million square feet of dead stores.

    Al Norman: Dancing on Wal-Mart's Grave

  • Japan has repeatedly said it would intervene to stop what it termed excess volatility and has said the yen's strength near postwar highs against the dollar wasn't warranted by the fundamentals of the Japanese economy.

    U.S. Criticizes Japan, China on Currencies

  • On page 251 he discusses what happens when a bank tries to circulate more currency than what the country can employ, and how the excess is almost immediately returned.

    A Bland and Deadly Courtesy

  • Summers, Larry Summers today said people should stop talking down the economy and end what he called the excess of fear.

    CNN Transcript Mar 13, 2009

  • BASH: This bipartisan team plans to spend all weekend writing a new economic measure, scrubbing what they call excess spending, things like $1.1 billion for comparative health research, $75 million for anti-smoking programs, or $248 million to consolidate the Department of Homeland Security headquarters.

    CNN Transcript Jan 30, 2009

  • SALVATORE: Well, I was going to say, also, increasingly, private insurance is also covering what they called excess flood insurance.

    CNN Transcript Jun 21, 2008

  • He also takes on the media for what he calls the excess -- excessive coverage of such tabloid events as the Michael Jackson and Robert Blake trials, the Laci Peterson and Chandra Levy tragedies, and the current fascination with such entertainment types as Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, and Paris Hilton.

    CNN Transcript May 17, 2007

  • The memo used the word "excess" to describe the action, even though "excess" more commonly describes the act of moving a teacher from a school's payroll into a pool of available professionals whose salaries are paid by the central office.

    NYT > Home Page

  • Harrods puts row behind it and allows Dixons instore Flattery can get you anywhere as Harrods awards Dixons consumer electronics concession Ryanair set to sue BAA over Stansted charges Ryanair plans to sue airports operator BAA for "tens of millions" of pounds over what it called excess charges at Stansted, the budget...

    Evening Standard - Home

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