excellence (n.) Look up excellence at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., from Old French excellence, from Latin excellentia, from excellentem (see excellent).
excellency (n.) Look up excellency at Dictionary.com
"high rank," c.1200, from Latin excellentia (see excellence); as a title of honor it dates from early 14c.
excellent (adj.) Look up excellent at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., from Old French excellent "outstanding, excellent," from Latin excellentem (nominative excellens), present participle of excellere (see excel). Related: Excellently.
excelsior Look up excelsior at Dictionary.com
Latin excelsior "higher," comparative of excelsus (adj.) "high, elevated, lofty," past participle of excellere (see excel). Taken 1778 as motto of New York State, where it apparently was mistaken for an adverb. Popularized 1841 as title of a poem by Longfellow. As a trade name for "thin shavings of soft wood used for stuffing cushions, etc.," first recorded 1868, American English.
except (v.) Look up except at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "to receive," from Middle French excepter (12c.), from Latin exceptus, past participle of excipere "take out," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + capere "to take" (see capable). Meaning "to leave out" is from 1510s. Related: Excepted; excepting. Adjectival function led to use as a preposition, conjunction (late 14c.).
exception (n.) Look up exception at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Anglo-French excepcioun, Old French excepcion, from Latin exceptionem (nominative exceptio), noun of action from past participle stem of excipere (see except).

The exception that proves the rule is from law: exceptio probat regulam in casibus non exceptis, "the exception proves the rule in cases not excepted;" exception here being "action of excepting" someone or something from the rule in question, not the person or thing that is excepted. To take exception is from excipere being used in Roman law as a modern attorney would say objection.
exceptionable (adj.) Look up exceptionable at Dictionary.com
1660s, from exception + -able. Related: Exceptionably.
exceptional (adj.) Look up exceptional at Dictionary.com
1846, from exception + -al (1). Related: Exceptionally.
excerpt (v.) Look up excerpt at Dictionary.com
early 15c. (implied in excerpte), from Latin excerptus, past participle of excerpere "pluck out, pick out, extract, excerpt," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + carpere "pluck, gather," from PIE *kerp- "to gather, pluck, harvest" (see harvest (n.)). Related: Excerpted; excerpting.
excerpt (n.) Look up excerpt at Dictionary.com
1630s, from Latin excerptum "an extract, selection," noun use of neuter past participle of excerpere (see excerpt (v.)). Related: excerpts.
excess (n.) Look up excess at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Old French exces (14c.) "excess, extravagance, outrage," from Latin excessus "departure, a going beyond the bounds of reason or beyond the subject," from stem of excedere "to depart, go beyond" (see exceed). As an adjective from late 15c.
excessive (adj.) Look up excessive at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Old French excessif "excessive, oppressive," from Latin excess-, past participle stem of excedere "to depart, go beyond" (see exceed). Related: Excessively; excessiveness.
exchange (n.) Look up exchange at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "act of reciprocal giving and receiving," from Anglo-French eschaunge, Old French eschange (Modern French échange), from Late Latin excambium, from excambiare, from Latin ex- "out" (see ex-) + cambire "barter" (see change (v.)). Practice of merchants or lenders meeting to exchange bills of debt led to meaning "building for mercantile business" (1580s).
exchange (v.) Look up exchange at Dictionary.com
late 15c., from Old French eschangier "exchange, barter," from Vulgar Latin *excambiare (source of Italian scambiare); see exchange (n.). Related: Exchanged; exchanging.
exchequer (n.) Look up exchequer at Dictionary.com
c.1300, from Anglo-French escheker "a chessboard," from Old French eschequier, from Medieval Latin scaccarium "chess board" (see check (n.1); also see checker (n.2)). Government financial sense began under the Norman kings of England and refers to a cloth divided in squares that covered a table on which accounts of revenue were reckoned with counters, and which apparently reminded people of a chess board. Respelled with an -x- based on the mistaken belief that it originally was a Latin ex- word.
excise (n.) Look up excise at Dictionary.com
"tax on goods," late 15c., from Middle Dutch excijs (early 15c.), apparently altered from accijs "tax" (by influence of Latin excisus "cut out or removed," see excise (v.)), traditionally from Old French acceis "tax, assessment" (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *accensum, ultimately from Latin ad- "to" (see ad-) + census "tax, census" (see census). English got the word, and the idea for the tax, from Holland.
excise (v.) Look up excise at Dictionary.com
"cut out," 1570s, from Middle French exciser, from Latin excisus, past participle of excidere "cut out, cut down, cut off," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + -cidere, comb. form of caedere "to cut down" (see -cide). Related: Excised; excising.
excision (n.) Look up excision at Dictionary.com
late 15c., from Middle French excision (14c.) and directly from Latin excisionem (nominative excisio) "a destroying," noun of action from past participle stem of excidere (see excise (v.)).
excitable (adj.) Look up excitable at Dictionary.com
c.1600, from Late Latin excitabilis "inciting, animating," from excitare "stir up, arouse, awaken, incite" (see excite). Related: Excitably; excitability.
excitation (n.) Look up excitation at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Old French excitation, from Latin excitationem (nominative excitatio), noun of action from past participle stem of excitare (see excite).
excite (v.) Look up excite at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., "to move, stir up, instigate," from Old French esciter (12c.) or directly from Latin excitare "rouse, call out, summon forth, produce," frequentative of exciere "call forth, instigate," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + ciere "set in motion, call" (see cite). Of feelings, from late 14c. Of bodily organs or tissues, from 1831. Main modern sense of "emotionally agitate" is first attested 1821.
excited (adj.) Look up excited at Dictionary.com
1650s, "magnetically or electrically stimulated;" modern sense of "agitated" attested 1855; past participle adjective from excite. Related: Excitedly.
excitement (n.) Look up excitement at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "encouragement;" c.1600, "something that tends to excite," from excite + -ment. Meaning "condition of mental and emotional agitation" is from 1846.
exciting (adj.) Look up exciting at Dictionary.com
1811, "causing disease," present participle adjective excite (v.). Sense of "causing excitement" is from 1826. Related: Excitingly.
exclaim (v.) Look up exclaim at Dictionary.com
1560s, back-formation from exclamation or else from Middle French exclamer (16c.), from Latin exclamare "cry out loud," from ex- intensive prefix "out" (see ex-) + clamare "cry, shout, call" (see claim (v.)). Spelling influenced by claim. Related: Exclaimed; exclaiming.
exclamation (n.) Look up exclamation at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Middle French exclamation, from Latin exclamationem (nominative exclamatio), noun of action from past participle stem of exclamare "cry out loud" (see exclaim).

The punctuation symbol known as the exclamation point (1824) or exclamation mark (1926) was earliest called an exclamation note or note of exclamation (1650s), earlier note of admiration (1610s). Another name for it was shriek-mark (1864).
exclamatory (adj.) Look up exclamatory at Dictionary.com
1590s, from Latin exclamat-, past participle stem of exclamare (see exclaim) + -ory.
exclude (v.) Look up exclude at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., from Latin excludere "keep out, shut out, hinder," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + claudere "to close, shut" (see close (v.)). Related: Excluded; excluding.
exclusion (n.) Look up exclusion at Dictionary.com
c.1400, from Latin exclusionem (nominative exclusio), noun of action from past participle stem of excludere (see exclude).
exclusionary (adj.) Look up exclusionary at Dictionary.com
1817, from exclusion + -ary.
exclusive (adj.) Look up exclusive at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., "so as to exclude," from Medieval Latin exclusivus, from exclus-, past participle stem of excludere (see exclude).

Of monopolies, rights, franchises, etc., from 1760s; of social circles, clubs, etc., "unwilling to admit outsiders," from 1822. Related: Exclusively; exclusiveness.
exclusivity (n.) Look up exclusivity at Dictionary.com
1926, from exclusive + -ity.
excommunicate (v.) Look up excommunicate at Dictionary.com
early 15c., from Late Latin excommunicatus, past participle of excommunicare (see excommunication). Related: Excommunicated; excommunicating.
excommunication (n.) Look up excommunication at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., from Late Latin excommunicationem (nominative excommunicatio), noun of action from past participle stem of excommunicare "put out of the community," in Church Latin "to expel from communion," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + communicare, from communis "common" (see common).
excoriate (v.) Look up excoriate at Dictionary.com
early 15c., from Late Latin excoriatus, past participle of excoriare "flay, strip off the hide," from Latin ex- "off" (see ex-) + corium "hide, skin" (see corium). Figurative sense of "denounce, censure" first recorded in English 1708. Related: Excoriated; excoriating.
excoriation (n.) Look up excoriation at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., from Medieval Latin excoriationem (nominative excoriatio), from past participle stem of Late Latin excoriare (see excoriate).
excrement (n.) Look up excrement at Dictionary.com
1530s, "waste discharged from the body," from Latin excrementum, from stem of excretus, past participle of excernere "to sift out, discharge," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + cernere "sift, separate" (see crisis). Originally any bodily secretion, especially from the bowels; exclusive sense of "feces" is since mid-18c.
excrescence (n.) Look up excrescence at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "action of growing out," from Latin excrescentia (plural) "abnormal growths," from excrescentem (nominative excrescens), present participle of excrescere "grow out, grow up," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + crescere "to grow" (see crescent). Meaning "that which grows out abnormally" (on a living thing) is from 1570s (excrescency in this sense is 1540s).
excrescent (adj.) Look up excrescent at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., from Latin excrescentem (nominative excrescens), present participle of excrescere (see excrescence).
excrete (v.) Look up excrete at Dictionary.com
1610s, from Latin excretus, past participle of excernere (see excrement). Related: Excreted; excreting.
excretion (n.) Look up excretion at Dictionary.com
c.1600, from French excrétion (16c.), from Latin excretionem, noun of action from past participle stem of excernere "to discharge" (see excrement).
excretory (adj.) Look up excretory at Dictionary.com
1680s, from excrete + -ory.
excruciate (v.) Look up excruciate at Dictionary.com
1560s, from Latin excruciatus, past participle of excruciare "to torture, torment, rack, plague;" figuratively "to afflict, harass, vex, torment," from ex- "out, thoroughly" (see ex-) + cruciare "cause pain or anguish to," literally "crucify," from crux (genitive crucis) "cross."
excruciating (adj.) Look up excruciating at Dictionary.com
1590s, present participle adjective from excruciate. Related: Excruciatingly.
exculpate (v.) Look up exculpate at Dictionary.com
1650s, from Medieval Latin exculpatus, past participle of exculpare, from Latin ex culpa, from ex "from" (see ex-) + culpa ablative of culpa "blame, fault." Related: Exculpated; exculpating.
exculpation (n.) Look up exculpation at Dictionary.com
1715, noun of action from exculpate.
exculpatory (adj.) Look up exculpatory at Dictionary.com
1780s, from exculpate + -ory.
excursion (n.) Look up excursion at Dictionary.com
1570s, "a deviation in argument," also "a military sally," from Latin excursionem (nominative excursio) "a running forth, sally, excursion, expedition," noun of action from past participle stem of excurrere "run out, run forth, hasten," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + currere "to run" (see current (adj.)). Sense of "journey" recorded in English by 1660s.
excusable (adj.) Look up excusable at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Old French escusable, from Latin excusabilis, from excusare (see excuse (v.)). Related: Excusably.
excuse (v.) Look up excuse at Dictionary.com
early 13c., "attempt to clear (someone) from blame," from Old French escuser (12c., Modern French excuser) "apologize, make excuses; pardon, exonerate," from Latin excusare "excuse, make an excuse for, release from a charge," from ex- "out, away" (see ex-) + causa "accusation, legal action" (see cause). Meaning "to obtain exemption or release" is from mid-15c.; that of "to accept another's plea of excuse" is from early 14c. Related: Excused; excusing. Excuse me as a mild apology or statement of polite disagreement is from c.1600.