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, call out," from ex- "out," or else here as an intensive prefix (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) "an exclamation" (in rhetoric), "a loud calling or crying out," 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). The mark itself is said to date to c. 1400 among writers in Italy and to represent the Latin io!, an exclamation of delight or triumph, written with the -i- above the -o-.
exclamatory (adj.) Look up exclamatory at Dictionary.com
1590s, from Latin exclamat-, past participle stem of exclamare "to call out" (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) "a shutting out," noun of action from past participle stem of excludere "keep out, shut out" (see exclude).
exclusionary (adj.) Look up exclusionary at Dictionary.com
"tending to exclude," 1817, from exclusion + -ary.
exclusive (adj.) Look up exclusive at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., "so as to exclude;" 1560s, "that excludes," 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. Exclusiveness is from 1730; exclusivism is from 1834.
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. Related: Excremental; excrementitious.
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 "grow out, grow up" (see excrescence).
excrete (v.) Look up excrete at Dictionary.com
1610s, from Latin excretus, past participle of excernere "to sift out, separate" (see excrement). Related: Excreted; excreting.
excretion (n.) Look up excretion at Dictionary.com
c. 1600, "action of excreting;" 1620s, "that which is excreted," from French excrétion (16c.), from Latin excretionem (nominative excretio), noun of action from past participle stem of excernere "to sift out, separate" (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) "a cross" (see cross (n.)).
excruciating (adj.) Look up excruciating at Dictionary.com
"extremely painful," 1590s, present participle adjective from excruciate. Related: Excruciatingly.
exculpate (v.) Look up exculpate at Dictionary.com
"to clear from suspicion of wrong or guilt," 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
1779, 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," figuratively "an outset, opening," noun of action from past participle stem of excurrere "run out, run forth, hasten forward; project, extend," 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.
excusatory (adj.) Look up excusatory at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., from Old French excusatoire, from Medieval Latin excusatorius, from Latin excusare "excuse, make an excuse for" (see excuse (v.)).
excuse (n.) Look up excuse at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "pretext, justification," from Old French excuse, from excuser (see excuse (v.)). The sense of "that which serves as a reason for being excused" is recorded from mid-15c. As a noun, excusation is the earlier form (mid-14c.).
excuse (v.) Look up excuse at Dictionary.com
mid-13c., "attempt to clear (someone) from blame, find excuses for," from Old French escuser (12c., Modern French excuser) "apologize, make excuses; pardon, exonerate," from Latin excusare "excuse, apologize, make an excuse for, plead as an excuse; release from a charge; decline, refuse, excuse the refusal of" (source also of Spanish excusar, Italian scusare), from ex- "out, away" (see ex-) + causa "accusation, legal action" (see cause (n.)).

Sense of "forgive, pardon, accept another's plea of excuse" is from early 14c. Meaning "to obtain exemption or release from an obligation or duty; beg to be excused" is from mid-14c. in English, as is the sense "defend (someone or something) as right." Sense of "serve as justification for" is from 1530s. Related: Excused; excusing. Excuse me as a mild apology or statement of polite disagreement is from c. 1600.
execrable (adj.) Look up execrable at Dictionary.com
"abominable, deserving of curses," late 14c., from Old French execrable and directly from Latin execrabilis/exsecrabilis "execrable, accursed," from execrari/exsecrari "to curse; to hate" (see execrate). Related: Execrably.
execrate (v.) Look up execrate at Dictionary.com
1560s, from Latin execratus/exsecratus, past participle of execrari/exsecrari "to curse, utter a curse, take a solemn oath with imprecations; hate, abhor," from ex- (see ex-) + sacrare "to devote to" (see sacred). Hence, "to devote off or away; to curse." Related: Execrated; execrating.
execration (n.) Look up execration at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "cursing, act of laying under a curse," from Latin execrationem (nominative execratio) "malediction, curse," noun of action from past participle stem of execrari "to hate, curse," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + sacrare "to devote to holiness or to destruction, consecrate," from sacer "sacred" (see sacred). From 1560s as "an uttered curse."
execute (v.) Look up execute at Dictionary.com
late 14c. "to carry into effect" (transitive, mostly in law with reference to warrants, sentences, etc.), also "carry out or accomplish a course of action" (intransitive), from Old French executer (14c.), from Medieval Latin executare, from Latin execut-/exsecut-, past participle stem of exequi/exsequi "to follow out, to follow to the grave," figuratively "to follow, follow after, accompany, follow up, prosecute, carry out, enforce; execute, accomplish; punish, avenge," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + sequi "follow" (see sequel). Meaning "to inflict capital punishment" is from late 15c., from earlier legal sense "perform judgment or sentence on" (early 15c.). Related: Executed; executing.
execution (n.) Look up execution at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "a carrying out, a putting into effect; enforcement; performance (of a law, statute, etc.), the carrying out (of a plan, etc.)," from Anglo-French execucioun (late 13c.), Old French execucion "a carrying out" (of an order, etc.), from Latin executionem (nominative executio) "an accomplishing," noun of action from past participle stem of exequi/exsequi "to follow out" (see execute).

Specific sense of "act of putting to death" (mid-14c.) is from Middle English legal phrases such as don execution of deth "carry out a sentence of death." Literal meaning "action of carrying something into effect" is from late 14c. John McKay, coach of the woeful Tampa Bay Buccaneers (U.S. football team), when asked by a reporter what he thought of his team's execution, replied, "I think it would be a good idea." Executor and executioner were formerly used indifferently, because both are carrying out legal orders.
executioner (n.) Look up executioner at Dictionary.com
"headsman," 1560s; "one who carries into effect," 1590s; agent noun from execution. Old English words for it included flæscbana, flæscwellere.
executive (adj.) Look up executive at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., "performed, carried out;" 1640s, "of the branch of government that carries out the laws," from Middle French executif, from Latin executivus, from past participle stem of exequi "follow after; carry out, accomplish" (see execution). The noun in this sense is from 1776, as a branch of government charged with the execution and enforcement of the laws. Meaning "high-ranking businessman" is 1902 in American English; hence the adjectival sense "stylish, luxurious, costly" (1970s). Executive privilege is attested by 1805, American English.
executor (n.) Look up executor at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, "person appointed to see that a will is carried into effect," from Anglo-French executour, from Latin executorem/exsecutorem, agent noun from exsequi/exsequi "follow after; carry out, accomplish" (see execution). Fem. form executrix is attested from late 14c. (executrice).

Compare executioner, and also executant "one who does or performs" (especially a musical performer), from 1858; executer "one who performs" (1530s).
exegesis (n.) Look up exegesis at Dictionary.com
1610s, "explanatory note," from Greek exegesis "explanation, interpretation," from exegeisthai "explain, interpret," from ex "out" (see ex-) + hegeisthai "to lead, guide," from PIE root *sag- "to track down, seek out" (see seek (v.)). Meaning "exposition (of Scripture)" is from 1823. Related: Exegetic; exegetical; exegetically.
exegete (n.) Look up exegete at Dictionary.com
"one who expounds or interprets a literary production," 1730s, from Greek exegetes "an expounder, interpreter" (especially of the Bible), from exegeisthai (see exegesis).
exemplar (n.) Look up exemplar at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "original model of the universe in the mind of God," later (mid-15c.) "model of virtue," from Old French exemplaire (14c.) and directly from Late Latin exemplarium, from Latin exemplum "a copy, pattern, model" (see example). Related: Exemplarily.
exemplary (adj.) Look up exemplary at Dictionary.com
1580s, "fit to be an example," from Middle French exemplaire, from Late Latin exemplaris "that serves as an example, pattern, or motto," from exemplum "example, pattern, model" (see example). Earlier (early 15c.) as a noun meaning "a model of conduct," from Late Latin exemplarium.
exemplification (n.) Look up exemplification at Dictionary.com
early 15c., from Anglo-French exemplification, from Medieval Latin exemplificationem (nominative exemplificatio), noun of action from past participle stem of exemplificare "to illustrate" (see exemplify). Holinshed had a back-formation exemplificate.
exemplify (v.) Look up exemplify at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "to illustrate by examples, to instruct by (good) example," from Medieval Latin exemplificare "to illustrate," from Latin exemplum "example, pattern, model" (see example). Meaning "to serve as an example" is recorded from 1793. Related: Exemplified; exemplifies; exemplifying.
exempt (v.) Look up exempt at Dictionary.com
c. 1400, "to relieve or exempt," from Anglo-French and Middle French exempter, from exempt (adj.); see exempt (adj.). Related: Exempted; exempting.
exempt (adj.) Look up exempt at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Old French exempt (13c.) and directly from Latin exemptus, past participle of eximere "remove, take out, take away; free, release, deliver, make an exception of," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + emere "buy," originally "take," from PIE root *em- "to take, distribute" (cognates: Latin sumere "to take, obtain, buy," Old Church Slavonic imo "to take," Lithuanian imui, Sanskrit yamati "holds, subdues"). For sense shift from "take" to "buy," compare Old English sellan "to give," source of Modern English sell "to give in exchange for money;" Hebrew laqah "he bought," originally "he took;" and colloquial English I'll take it for "I'll buy it."
exemption (n.) Look up exemption at Dictionary.com
c. 1400, from Old French exemption, exencion or directly from Latin exemptionem (nominative exemptio) "a taking out, removing," noun of action from past participle stem of eximere "take out, take away, remove" (see exempt (adj.)).
exercise (v.) Look up exercise at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "to employ, put into active use," from exercise (n.); originally "to make use of;" also in regard to mental and spiritual training; sense of "engage in physical activity" is from 1650s. From late 14c. in sense of "train, drill, discipline, educate (someone); develop (a skill) by practice." Related: Exercised; exercises; exercising.
exercise (n.) Look up exercise at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., "condition of being in active operation; practice for the sake of training," from Old French exercice (13c.) "exercise, execution of power; physical or spiritual exercise," from Latin exercitium "training, exercise" (of soldiers, horsemen, etc.); "play;" in Medieval Latin also of arts, from exercitare, frequentative of exercere "keep busy, keep at work, oversee, engage busily; train, exercise; practice, follow; carry into effect; disturb, disquiet," literally "remove restraint," from ex- "off" (see ex-) + arcere "keep away, prevent, enclose," from PIE *ark- "to hold, contain, guard" (see arcane).

Original sense may have been driving farm animals to the field to plow. Meaning "physical activity for fitness, etc." first recorded in English late 14c. Also from late 14c. as "a carrying out of an action; a doing or practicing; a disciplinary task." In reference to written schoolwork from early 17c. The ending was abstracted for formations such as dancercise (1967); jazzercise (1977); and boxercise (1985).
exert (v.) Look up exert at Dictionary.com
1660s, "thrust forth, push out," from Latin exertus/exsertus, past participle of exerere/exserere "thrust out, put forth," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + serere "attach, join; arrange, line up" (see series). Meaning "put into use" is 1680s. Related: Exerted; exerting.
exertion (n.) Look up exertion at Dictionary.com
1660s, "act of exerting," from exert + -ion. Meaning "vigorous action or effort" is from 1777.