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Excel definitions

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

EXCEL', v.t. [L. excello, the root of which, cello, is not in use.
1. To go beyond; to exceed; to surpass in good qualities or laudable deeds; to outdo.
Excelling others, these were great;
Thou greater still, must these excel.
Many daughters have done virtuously, but
thou excellest them all. Proverbs 31.
2. To exceed or go beyond in bad qualities or deeds.
3. To exceed; to surpass.
EXCEL', v.i. To have good qualities, or to perform meritorious actions, in an unusual degree; to be eminent, illustrious or distinguished.
Bless the Lord, ye his angels, that excel in strength. Psalms 103.
We say, to excel in mathematics; to excel in painting; to excel in heroic achievements.

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

1: distinguish oneself; "She excelled in math" [syn: excel, stand out, surpass]

Merriam Webster's

verb (excelled; excelling) Etymology: Middle English excellen, from Latin excellere, from ex- + -cellere to rise, project; akin to Latin collis hill more at hill Date: 15th century transitive verb to be superior to ; surpass in accomplishment or achievement intransitive verb to be distinguishable by superiority ; surpass others <excel in sports> <excelled at lipreading> Synonyms: see exceed

Oxford Reference Dictionary

v. (excelled, excelling) (often foll. by in, at) 1 tr. be superior to. 2 intr. be pre-eminent or the most outstanding (excels at games). Phrases and idioms: excel oneself surpass one's previous performance. Etymology: ME f. L excellere (as EX-(1), celsus lofty)

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Excel Ex*cel", v. t. [imp. & p. p. Excelled; p. pr. & vb. n. Excelling.] [L. excellere, excelsum; ex out + a root found in culmen height, top; cf. F. exceller. See Culminate, Column.] 1. To go beyond or surpass in good qualities or laudable deeds; to outdo or outgo, in a good sense. Excelling others, these were great; Thou, greater still, must these excel. --Prior. I saw that wisdom excelleth folly, as far as light excelleth darkness. --Eccl. ii. 13. 2. To exceed or go beyond; to surpass. She opened; but to shut Excelled her power; the gates wide open stood. --Milton.

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Excel Ex*cel", v. i. To surpass others in good qualities, laudable actions, or acquirements; to be distinguished by superiority; as, to excel in mathematics, or classics. Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel. --Gen. xlix. 4. Then peers grew proud in horsemanship t' excel. --Pope.

Collin's Cobuild Dictionary

(excels, excelling, excelled) If someone excels in something or excels at it, they are very good at doing it. Caine has always been an actor who excels in irony... Mary was a better rider than either of them and she excelled at outdoor sports... Academically he began to excel... I think Krishnan excelled himself in all departments of his game. VERB: V in n, V at n, V, V pron-refl

Soule's Dictionary of English Synonyms

I. v. a. 1. Surpass, outdo, outvie, outrival, outstrip, beat, be superior to, cast in the shade, throw into the shade, eclipse. 2. Exceed, transcend, cap, go beyond, surpass. II. v. n. Win eminence, gain or have excellence, surpass others, attain superiority, win or acquire distinction, be superior, be eminent, bear the palm, bear the bell, take precedence.

Moby Thesaurus

be born for, be master of, beat, best, better, cap, dominate, eclipse, exceed, go beyond, go one better, improve on, outdo, outpace, outrank, outshine, outstrip, outweigh, overbalance, overbear, overcome, overpass, overshadow, overtop, perfect, predominate, preponderate, prevail, shine, shine in, surpass, top, tower above, tower over, transcend, trump

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