Definition of except in English:



  • Not including; other than.

    ‘they work every day except Sunday’
    ‘I was naked except for my socks’
    • ‘In particular, don't put writing on it except for brand names or logos.’
    • ‘The discotheque becomes a free space, to which adults have no access, except for a minute glance through the door.’
    • ‘I looked around, but it was dark outside except for one street light at the corner a short way ahead of me.’
    • ‘It helps that it's getting warmer and sunnier and more springlike, well except for the snow storm on the weekend.’
    • ‘In 2000, Al Gore… did not win a single one of these states except New Mexico.’
    • ‘The first was a head and shoulders shot of her apparently naked except for a white feather boa wrapped round her shoulders.’
    • ‘John and Norma Major filmed entirely in grey tone, except for the peas.’
    • ‘Everyone seems to fall under the mercy of the council except for Van the man.’
    • ‘So we're all men of our word really… except for Elizabeth, who is in fact, a woman.’
    • ‘She just goes on talking, without a pause, except for the coffee, and my mind wanders again.’
    • ‘We were compatible at every level, except for my ethnic and religious background.’
    • ‘Spain established complete control over all the Italian states except Venice.’
    • ‘I love a trip to the cinema except for the rather sticky residue on the floor.’
    • ‘Nearly everyone knew who I was except for one guy who kept accusing me of coming dressed as someone from The Simpsons.’
    • ‘The media coverage is always sensationalized here in the US except for possibly Public Radio.’
    • ‘The pup is pure white except for her black-skin ears, which have yet to grow their covering.’
    • ‘Everything is very quiet, except for the occasional floomfing sound of snow falling off pine trees and cedars.’
    • ‘All benchmarks in the region fell for the week except for Hong Kong, Singapore and India.’
    excluding, not including, excepting, omitting, leaving out, not counting, but, besides, barring, bar, other than, exclusive of, saving, save, apart from, aside from
    View synonyms


  • 1Used before a statement that forms an exception to one just made.

    ‘I didn't tell him anything, except that I needed the money’
    ‘our berets were the same except mine was blue’
    • ‘The second half was really a mirror of the first, except that the Wolfhill defence was more solid.’
    • ‘Pretty ordinary flat type food I think except that we hardly ever had vegetables.’
    • ‘There was a light, cool breeze, which was pleasant enough except that it made the skin feel chilled and clammy.’
    • ‘He understood them, except that there were some parts he was not able to finish.’
    • ‘It has nothing to do with it except that it has a lot to do with his own credibility on various issues.’
    • ‘The public transport is pretty good, except for the buses at rush hour when it's rather nasty.’
    • ‘It's all like home, except that here food is made and served with scrupulous hygiene.’
    • ‘It felt like I was in the torture scene from a science fiction movie, except that it didn't hurt.’
    • ‘The Medium Lobster is a higher being, except that it doesn't look that way to us.’
    • ‘I have a similar problem, except that mine is all to do with people who are lost.’
    • ‘It was said to have a similar appearance to the original homestead, except that it was built in brick.’
    • ‘Similar techniques are also being used to produce chocolate which is normal in every way, except that it is chewy.’
    • ‘It was like being in busy shipping lanes, except that they were full of whales.’
    • ‘Mr Greeno in his first statement said nothing about this except that the owner was not CCUK.’
    • ‘She had been unable to say where she was except that it was wooded.’
    • ‘The main design of all the houses was the same except that it varied in size.’
    • ‘And this for a game which had no special appeal except that it featured the old rivals.’
    • ‘So far, no word is out on where the show will be shot exactly, except that it will be somewhere near Panama.’
    • ‘Technically, it's very similar to the prosthesis I have now, except for one major difference.’
    • ‘It's an impressive record, except that it loses some of its gloss on closer examination.’
    other than, do other than, otherwise than, except
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1archaic Unless.
      ‘she never offered advice, except it were asked of her’
      • ‘Till today he never talks about my work except to offer bits of useful criticism.’


[with object]formal
  • Specify as excluded from a category or group.

    ‘five classes of advertisement are excepted from control’
    • ‘That was Edmund Wilson's judgment in 1950, and in view of the half century since I see no reason, not excepting Wilson's own career, to alter it.’
    • ‘Not a creature was to be seen in the room or at the door as I passed out - always excepting the man with the cough.’
    • ‘There are a few abbreviations, things like SMTP and HTTP and such, that are specifically excepted from this rule.’
    • ‘They also retain their share of misery, however, and misery is most of what you find in the other cities, not excepting the state capital.’
    • ‘Yorkshire women were to be excepted from any criticism he added, because they ‘always have dinner on the table when you get home’.’
    • ‘Many national-liberation struggles, not excepting Israel's fight for existence in the 1940s, have seen violence against civilians: think Ireland or Kenya.’
    exclude, omit, leave out, rule out, count out, disregard, pass over, bar
    View synonyms


Late Middle English: from Latin except- ‘taken out’, from the verb excipere, from ex- ‘out of’ + capere ‘take’.