Definition of excellency in English:



  • 1A title or form of address given to certain high officials of state, especially ambassadors, or of the Roman Catholic Church.

    ‘His Excellency the Indian Consul General’
    • ‘Among those at the reception who wished Brendan and the team every success at the games were the Japanese Ambassador to Ireland, Her Excellency, Kazuko Yokoo and the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Michael Mulcahy.’
    • ‘Under the headmasterly rule of His Excellency the Life President Ngwazi Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda (to give him his official moniker), Malawi was peaceful, tidy, friendly, and decidedly old-fashioned.’
    • ‘On behalf of the Government, and I know on behalf of all members, I extend to His Excellency, Hu Jintao, the President of the People's Republic of China, a very warm welcome to our national Parliament.’
    • ‘Joining us now to take a look at her nation's progress is Her Excellency Barbara Masekela, the South African ambassador to the United States.’
    • ‘On Friday, June 6, in recognition of their wonderful effort, the Japanese Ambassador, His Excellency, Mr. Takeshi Kagami, visited the school.’
    • ‘German ambassador meets PM German ambassador His Excellency Eric Riedler paid a visit to Prime Minister Dr Robert Woonton and other officials on Rarotonga this week.’
    • ‘Their Excellencies would never allow me to return to the prison if I was found to be unable to contain the criminals sent there.’
    • ‘We were just in time for the pre-dinner speeches, at which the French Ambassador His Excellency Frédéric Grasset stole the show.’
    • ‘Recently the guest speaker was none other than the German Ambassador to Thailand, His Excellency, Andreas von Stechow.’
    • ‘Today, we take the opportunity to say a fond farewell to His Excellency Dr. Mahathir Mohamad,’ Megawati said.’
    • ‘The Ambassador of Japan, His Excellency Masaki Orita, holds a framed front page of an Evening Press supplement produced to mark his visit.’
    • ‘But Her Excellency, President Mary McAleese, felt compelled to speak plainly when visiting St Attracta's Community School in Tubbercurry last week.’
    • ‘For this reason, His Excellency, Lord Tredici, wanted me to see personally to your recovery.’
    • ‘At a dinner with the Irish Ambassador in Abuja, His Excellency Liam Canniffe, Rowan undertook to raise the money for a school and the Ambassador immediately said he would match Rowan's money pound for pound in Africa.’
    • ‘Meanwhile the Chinese Ambassador to Ireland Her Excellency Zhang Xiaokang has held a private meeting with the Chairman of the Irish music, sports and arts event's committee, Mr. Eamonn Walsh.’
    • ‘At a recent launch of the Buddhist University Education Foundation, the Governor of New South Wales, Her Excellency, Professor Marie Bashir, had this to say about Buddhism's potential contribution to social harmony.’
    • ‘As a matter of fact, this is also clearly stated in the guiding principles and main strategies of our Third Medium Term Plan on HIV-AIDS, which was launched only three months ago by His Excellency, President Nujoma.’
    • ‘By His Excellency's commands, Malcolm Fraser, Prime Minister, John R. Kerr, Governor-General.’
    • ‘Carlow's ties with Slovenia were strengthened further recently with a visit by the Slovenian Ambassador to Ireland, Her Excellency Helena Drnovek Zorko.’
    • ‘The Ministry's delegation arrived to the resort for a one-day visit and also included the new Russian Ambassador to Thailand, His Excellency Mr. Yevgeny V. Afanasiev and Consul of the Russian Federation in Thailand Mr. Vladmir V. Pronin.’
  • 2archaic An outstanding feature or quality.

    ‘the characteristic excellencies of Wordsworth's poetry are listed’
    • ‘For we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of ourselves.’
    • ‘In England, John Mitchell Kemble contended that the excellency of the English was due to their Germanic roots.’
    • ‘After his opponent got his footing, he fought with an excellency that rivaled that of the General Leon D' alapore, at least from memories he'd assimilated from a wounded soldier.’
    • ‘What is significant to notice here, is that Du Bois seems to borrow some of his descriptions of the excellency of art from classical references.’
    • ‘That the excellencies and subtleties of Neilson's verse depend on the natural speaking voice is apparent from ‘May’.’
    • ‘Rather than having her verses read as the expression of truly felt passion, they are read as very successful imitations; the implication is that what appears to be the excellency of the imitation is in fact the product of true passion.’


Middle English (in the sense ‘excellence’): from Latin excellentia, from excellere ‘surpass’ (see excel). Sense 1 dates from the mid 16th century.