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

  • n. An outgrowth or enlargement, especially an abnormal one, such as a wart.
  • n. A usually unwanted or unnecessary accretion: "Independent agencies were an excrescence on the Constitution” ( Los Angeles Times).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Something, usually abnormal, which grows out of something else.
  • n. A disfiguring or unwanted mark or adjunct
  • n. epenthesis of a consonant

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An excrescent appendage, as, a wart or tumor; anything growing out unnaturally from anything else; a preternatural or morbid development; hence, a troublesome superfluity; an incumbrance.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An abnormal superficial growth or appendage, as a wart or tubercle; anything which grows unnaturally, and without organic use, out of something else, as nutgalls; hence, a superfluity; a disfiguring addition.
  • n. Figuratively, an extravagant or excessive outbreak: as, “excrescences of joy,”

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

  • n. something that bulges out or is protuberant or projects from its surroundings
  • n. (pathology) an abnormal outgrowth or enlargement of some part of the body


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

Middle English, from Latin excrēscentia, from neuter pl. of excrēscēns, excrēscent-, present participle of excrēscere, to grow out : ex-, ex- + crēscere, to grow; see ker-2 in Indo-European roots.



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  • Goes well with keratinous. "My keratinous excrescences have been rather growing rapidly of late!"

    August 23, 2008

  • "They had taken supper, an inedible excrescence, at a restaurant across the parking lot, in a booth beneath a faux Tiffany lamp, served by a spotty high school girl with an eerily keen smile and an imposingly cleft chin."

    -- The Emperor's Children, by Claire Messud (page 454)

    October 29, 2007

  • Why not post the actual sentence/citation for those without time or resource to find the book?

    May 28, 2007

  • Bottom of page 65 of Life With Jeeves by Wodehouse.

    May 28, 2007