Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Acronyms, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


leave out; exclude: present company excepted; with the exclusion of: Everyone was there except for the guest of honor.
Not to be confused with:
accept – receive: She will accept the award.; answer affirmatively: I accept your invitation.
Abused, Confused, & Misused Words by Mary Embree Copyright © 2007, 2013 by Mary Embree


With the exclusion of; other than; but: everyone except me.
1. If it were not for the fact that; only. Often used with that: I would buy the suit, except that it costs too much.
2. Otherwise than: They didn't open their mouths except to complain.
3. Archaic Unless: "And ne'er throughout the year to church thou go'st / Except it be to pray against thy foes" (Shakespeare).
v. ex·cept·ed, ex·cept·ing, ex·cepts
To leave out; exclude: An admission fee is charged, but children are excepted.
To object: Counsel excepted to the court's ruling.
except for
Were it not for: I would join you except for my cold.

[Middle English, from Latin exceptus, past participle of excipere, to exclude : ex-, ex- + capere, to take; see kap- in Indo-European roots.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. Also: except for other than; apart from; with the exception of: he likes everyone except you; except for this mistake, you did very well.
2. except that (conjunction) but for the fact that; were it not true that
3. an archaic word for unless
4. informal except that; but for the fact that: I would have arrived earlier, except I lost my way.
5. (tr) to leave out; omit; exclude
6. rare (often foll by: to) to take exception; object
[C14: from Old French excepter to leave out, from Latin exceptāre, from excipere to take out, from capere to take]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014



1. with the exclusion of; excluding; save; but: They were all there except me.
2. only; with the exception (usu. fol. by that): parallel cases except that one is younger than the other.
3. otherwise than; but (fol. by an adv., phrase, or clause): well fortified except here.
except for, if it were not for: She would travel more except for lack of money.
[1350–1400; Middle English: orig., adj. < Latin exceptus, past participle of excipere to take out]
ex•cep′tive, adj.



1. to exclude; leave out: present company excepted.
2. to object (usu. fol. by to or against): to except to a statement.
[1350–1400; Middle English < Middle French excepter < Latin exceptāre]
ex•cept′a•ble, adj.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.



Don't confuse accept /ək'sept/ with except /ɪk'sept/.

1. 'accept'

Accept is a verb. If someone offers you something and you accept it, you agree to take it.

I never accept presents from clients.
See accept
2. 'except'

Except is a preposition or conjunction. You use it to show that a statement does not include a particular thing or person.

All the boys except Paul started to giggle.
See except


You use except to introduce the only thing, person, or group that your main statement does not apply to.

1. used with a noun phrase

You usually use except in front of a noun phrase.

Anything, except water, is likely to block a sink.
All the boys except Peter started to laugh.

You can use except in front of object pronouns such as me, him, or her, or in front of reflexive pronouns such as himself or herself.

There's nobody except me.
Pedro didn't trust anyone except himself.

Be Careful!
Don't use except in front of subject pronouns. Don't say, for example, 'There's nobody here except I'.

Be Careful!
Don't confuse except with besides or unless. You use except when you mention something that a statement does not apply to. Besides means 'in addition to'.

What languages do you know besides Arabic and English?

Be Careful!
Unless is used to introduce the only situation in which something will take place or be true.

I won't speak to you unless you apologize.
See unless
2. used with a verb

You can use except in front of a to-infinitive.

I never wanted anything except to be an actor.
She seldom goes out except to go to church.

After do, you can use except in front of an infinitive without to.

There was little I could do except wait.
3. used with a finite clause

You can use except in front of a finite clause, but only when the clause is introduced by when, while, where, what, or that.

I knew nothing about Judith except what her dad told me.
I can't remember what we ate, except that it was delicious.

Be Careful!
Don't use 'except' immediately in front of a finite verb. Don't say, for example 'I can't remember what we ate, except it was delicious'.

4. 'except for'

You use except for in front of a noun phrase when you are mentioning something that prevents a statement from being completely true.

The classroom was silent, except for the sound of pens on paper.
The room was very cold and, except for Mao, entirely empty.
Collins COBUILD English Usage © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 2004, 2011, 2012
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Verb1.except - take exception to; "he demurred at my suggestion to work on Saturday"
object - express or raise an objection or protest or criticism or express dissent; "She never objected to the amount of work her boss charged her with"; "When asked to drive the truck, she objected that she did not have a driver's license"
2.except - prevent from being included or considered or accepted; "The bad results were excluded from the report"; "Leave off the top piece"
do away with, eliminate, get rid of, extinguish - terminate, end, or take out; "Let's eliminate the course on Akkadian hieroglyphics"; "Socialism extinguished these archaic customs"; "eliminate my debts"
elide - leave or strike out; "This vowel is usually elided before a single consonant"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


except for
1. apart from, but for, saving, bar, barring, excepting, other than, excluding, omitting, with the exception of, aside from, save (archaic), not counting, exclusive of I don't drink, except for the occasional glass of wine.
1. exclude, rule out, leave out, omit, disregard, pass over Men are such swine (present company excepted, of course).
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


1. To keep from being admitted, included, or considered:
2. To express opposition, often by argument:
Informal: kick, squawk.
Idioms: set up a squawk, take exception.
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
مَا عَدَاما عَدا، باسْتِثْناءيَسْتَثْني
bortset fraundtageundtagen
kivévekizáróvást emelvisszautasít
aî undanskildum; nemanema
...을 제외하고
išimtinaiišimtinisišimtisjeigu neneeilinis
až na to
hariçhariç/ayrı tutmak-den başka
ngoại trừ


A. PREP except (for)excepto, salvo, menos
except that/if/when/wheresalvo que/si/cuando/donde
there is nothing we can do except waitno nos queda otra (cosa) que esperar
B. VTexcluir, exceptuar (from de) present company exceptedcon excepción de los presentes
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


prepsauf, excepté
everyone except me → tout le monde sauf moi
except if → sauf si
except when → sauf quand
except for → sauf, excepté
except that → si ce n'est que
The weather was great, except that it was a bit cold → Il a fait un temps superbe, si ce n'est qu'il a fait un peu froid.
vt (= exclude) → exclure
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


außer (+dat); what can they do except wait?was können sie (anders) tun als warten?; who could have done it except him?wer hätte es außer ihm denn getan?
except forabgesehen von, bis auf (+acc); except that …außer or nur dass …; except for the fact thatabgesehen davon, dass …; except ifes sei denn(, dass), außer wenn; except whenaußer wenn
(= only)doch; I’d refuse except I need the moneyich würde ablehnen, doch ich brauche das Geld
(old, form, = unless) → es sei denn(, dass); except he be a traitores sei denn, er wäre ein Verräter
vtausnehmen; to except somebody from somethingjdn bei etw ausnehmen; none exceptedohne Ausnahme
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


1. prep (also except for, excepting) → eccetto, salvo, tranne
except that/if/when → salvo che/se/quando
there is nothing we can do except wait → non c'è nulla che possiamo fare se non aspettare
except for → ad eccezione di
except for one old lady → ad eccezione di or tranne una vecchia signora
2. vt to except (from)escludere (da)
present company excepted → esclusi i presenti
always excepting the possibility ... → sempre se si esclude la possibilità...
not excepting ... → senza esclusione di...
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(ikˈsept) preposition
leaving out; not including. They're all here except him; Your essay was good except that it was too long.
to leave out or exclude.
exˈcepted adjective
all European countries, Denmark excepted (= except Denmark).
exˈcepting preposition
leaving out or excluding. Those cars are all reliable, excepting the old red one.
exˈception (-ʃən) noun
1. something or someone not included. They all work hard, without exception; With the exception of Jim we all went home early.
2. something not according to the rule. We normally eat nothing at lunchtime, but Sunday is an exception.
exˈceptional adjective
(negative unexceptional) unusual; remarkable. exceptional loyalty; His ability is exceptional.
exˈceptionally adverb
unusually. exceptionally stupid.
except for
1. apart from. We enjoyed the holiday except for the expense.
2. except. Except for John, they all arrived punctually.
take exception to/at
to object to. The old lady took exception to the rudeness of the children.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


مَا عَدَا kromě bortset fra außer εκτός από excepto paitsi sauf osim eccetto ・・・を除いては ...을 제외하고 met uitzondering van unntatt z wyjątkiem exceto кроме utom นอกจาก hariç ngoại trừ 除了...之外
Multilingual Translator © HarperCollins Publishers 2009


prep. excepto, menos.
English-Spanish Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012
References in classic literature ?
The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.
There is infinite variety in the gales of wind at sea, and except for the peculiar, terrible, and mysterious moaning that may be heard sometimes passing through the roar of a hurricane - except for that unforgettable sound, as if the soul of the universe had been goaded into a mournful groan - it is, after all, the human voice that stamps the mark of human consciousness upon the character of a gale.
If even the angle of a respectable Triangle in the middle class is not without its dangers; if to run against a Working Man involves a gash; if collision with an officer of the military class necessitates a serious wound; if a mere touch from the vertex of a Private Soldier brings with it danger of death; -- what can it be to run against a Woman, except absolute and immediate destruction?
The women varied in appearance but little from the men, except that their tusks were much larger in proportion to their height, in some instances curving nearly to their high-set ears.
Caswall, who had never before seen any of these things, except those which he had collected himself, found a constant amusement and interest in them.
"No State shall, without the consent of the Congress, lay any imposts or duties on imports or exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing its inspection laws, and the net produce of all duties and imposts laid by any State on imports or exports, shall be for the use of the treasury of the United States; and all such laws shall be subject to the revision and control of the Congress.
They love bright and glaring colours, and dress themselves much in the Turkish manner, except that their clothes are wider, and their drawers cover their legs.
I don't believe he ever saw the sky except through the window--pane.
By daylight alone; after nightfall no human being except passing strangers ever went near the place.
I came on deck, after a good night's rest in spite of my poor knee, to find the Ghost foaming along, wing-and- wing, and every sail drawing except the jibs, with a fresh breeze astern.
You must except, nevertheless, Marcus Antonius, the half partner of the empire of Rome, and Appius Claudius, the decemvir and lawgiver; whereof the former was indeed a voluptuous man, and inordinate; but the latter was an austere and wise man: and therefore it seems (though rarely) that love can find entrance, not only into an open heart, but also into a heart well fortified, if watch be not well kept.
A little further on, I found the older and smaller wall, which used to enclose the pent-up inner prison where nobody was put, except for ceremony.