Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of except
Meaning of except by Wiktionary Dictionary



    • IPA: /ɛˈksɛpt/
    • IPA: /ɪˈksɛpt/
    • Rhymes: -ɛpt


    except ( third-person singular simple present excepts present participle excepting, simple past and past participle excepted )

    1. ( transitive ) To exclude; to specify as being an exception.
    2. ( intransitive ) To take exception, to object ( to or against ).



    1. With the exception of; but .
      There was nothing in the cupboard except a tin of beans .


    Derived terms



    1. With the exception ( that ); used to introduce a clause, phrase or adverb forming an exception or qualification to something previously stated .
      You look a bit like my sister, except she has longer hair .
      I never made fun of her except teasingly .
    2. ( archaic ) Unless; used to introduce a hypothetical case in which an exception may exist.




Explanation of except by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. prevent from being included or considered or accepted

    2. take exception to

    Definition of except by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Except v. t. [imp. & p. p. Excepted; p. pr. & vb. n. Excepting.] [L. exceptus, p. p. of excipere to take or draw out, to except; ex out + capere to take: cf. F. excepter. See Capable.]
      1. To take or leave out ( anything ) from a number or a whole as not belonging to it; to exclude; to omit.

      Who never touched

      The excepted tree. Milton.

      Wherein ( if we only except the unfitness of the judge ) all other things concurred. Bp. Stillingfleet.

      2. To object to; to protest against. [Obs.] Shak.

    2. Except, v. i. To take exception; to object; -- usually followed by to, sometimes by against; as, “to except to a witness or his testimony”.

      Except thou wilt except against my love. Shak.

    3. Except, prep. [Originally past participle, or verb in the imperative mode.] With exclusion of; leaving or left out; excepting.

      God and his Son except,

      Created thing naught valued he nor . . . shunned. Milton.

      Syn. -- Except, Excepting, But, Save, Besides. Excepting, except, but, and save are exclusive. Except marks exclusion more pointedly. “I have finished all the letters except one,” is more marked than “I have finished all the letters but one.” Excepting is the same as except, but less used. Save is chiefly found in poetry. Besides ( lit., by the side of ) is in the nature of addition. “There is no one here except or but him,” means, take him away and there is nobody present. “There is nobody here besides him,” means, he is present and by the side of, or in addition to, him is nobody. “Few ladies, except her Majesty, could have made themselves heard.” In this example, besides should be used, not except.

    4. Except ( ĕksĕpt ), conj. Unless; if it be not so that.

      And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. Gen. xxxii. 26.

      But yesterday you never opened lip,

      Except, indeed, to drink. Tennyson.

      ☞ As a conjunction unless has mostly taken the place of except.