Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An outgrowth or enlargement, especially an abnormal one, such as a wart.
  • noun A usually unwanted or unnecessary accretion.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun 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.
  • noun Figuratively, an extravagant or excessive outbreak: as, “excrescences of joy,”

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun 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 Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

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

Etymologies

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- in Indo-European roots.]

Examples

  • Let us also note that the lower pole expands into the umbilical excrescence, which is less easy of perforation than those parts protected by the skin alone.

    Social Life in the Insect World

  • During the first year he has no horns, but a horny excrescence, which is short and rough, and covered with a thin hairy skin.

    The Book of Household Management

  • During the first year he has no horns, but a horny excrescence, which is short and rough, and covered with a thin hairy skin.

    The Book of Household Management

  • Directly across Tremont Street from the corner where I stood was the entrance to the Old Burying Ground, which occupies a kind of excrescence of land off Boston Common-that is, the area is attached but not a part of the Common proper.

    Beacon Street Mourning

  • In Sussex, the peculiar excrescence which is often found on the

    Herbal Simples Approved for Modern Uses of Cure

  • Only in the north-west corner was a little place jutting out from the great wall, a kind of excrescence or loop, no doubt used in the old distrustful days for observation, where it was possible to sit really unseen, because between it and the house was a thick clump of daphne.

    The Enchanted April

  • Only the north-west corner was a little place jutting out from the great wall, a kind of excrescence or loop, no doubt used in the old distrustful days for observation, where it was possible to sit really unseen, because between it and the house was a thick clump of daphne.

    The Enchanted April

  • The egg of the bird breaks clumsily under the blows of a wart-like excrescence which is formed expressly upon the beak of the unborn bird; the egg of the Cricket, of a far superior structure, opens like an ivory casket.

    Social Life in the Insect World

  • But the vegetable substance in which the gallic acid most abounds is _nutgall_, a kind of excrescence that grows on oaks, and from which the acid is commonly obtained for its various purposes.

    Conversations on Chemistry, V. 1-2 In Which the Elements of that Science Are Familiarly Explained and Illustrated by Experiments

  • She brings with her the excrescence which is found upon the forehead of a new-cast foal, of the size of a dried fig, and which unless first eaten by the mare, the mother never admits her young to the nourishment of her milk.

    Lives of the Necromancers

Comments

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

    May 28, 2007

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

    May 28, 2007

  • "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

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

    August 23, 2008