Definition of exception in English:

exception

noun

  • A person or thing that is excluded from a general statement or does not follow a rule.

    ‘he always plays top tunes, and tonight was no exception’
    ‘the administrator made an exception in the Colonel's case and waived the normal visiting hours’
    • ‘A capable display by the man in the middle is now the exception rather than the rule.’
    • ‘There is an endless list of possible exceptions to this general outlook that may arise during the game.’
    • ‘There are a number of well-established exceptions to the general rule and their list is not closed.’
    • ‘The young girl featured in your article is the exception to the rule and I admire her for it.’
    • ‘Meldrew and Greengrass, though, are the exceptions rather than the rule, she says.’
    • ‘Some play this rule with the exception that a spread of three aces can be held.’
    • ‘Now the state welfare budget is being cut, and new rules will end these exceptions.’
    • ‘I know it's a generalisation, and I'm always open to see the exceptions to the rule.’
    • ‘Luckily there is always an exception to every rule and this one is no different.’
    • ‘An exception to this general rule is formed by a cheque which bears on its front the letter R.’
    • ‘There are always exceptions to the rule, but in general I think this is true.’
    • ‘Mr Gray believes the road should be treated as an exception to the rules because it is terraced.’
    • ‘In general the few exceptions are not allowed to be used as arguments for making bad law.’
    • ‘There were only a few exceptions to this general pattern of noninvolvement.’
    • ‘While no two life sentences will be identical, exceptions to this general pattern will be rare.’
    • ‘Those sort of mechanical problems are the exception rather than the rule nowadays.’
    • ‘Most give pretty basic info with not a lot of flash, but there are always exceptions to the rule.’
    • ‘I have a friend and neighbour called Peter Thomson who is an exception to the general rule.’
    • ‘An exception puts a rule to test, it does not and cannot prove it in any way.’
    • ‘The exceptions to the rule are on our coasts and hills - just where objectors do not want them to be.’
    anomaly, irregularity, deviation, special case, departure, inconsistency, quirk, peculiarity, abnormality, oddity
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Phrases

  • the exception proves the rule

    • proverb The fact that some cases do not follow a rule proves that the rule applies in all other cases.

      • ‘Regarding the previous posting about the Washington Post OpEd, one could counter with ‘the exception proves the rule’ - wrong.’
      • ‘That is the one part where the exception proves the rule.’
      • ‘Those who did not, such as Desmond Tutu, were the exceptions that proved the rule.’
      • ‘His spell at Inter seems to have been the exception that proves the rule in terms of his value to a club.’
  • take exception to

    • Object strongly to.

      ‘many viewers took great exception to the programme's content’
      • ‘Well, I'm sure some journalists would take exception to that and say that they're not partisans of one side or the other.’
      • ‘There are two factors I really take exception to on television.’
      • ‘It's not so much that they are lairy or rude or stare at people, they just tend to be a bit loud when hammered and some people tend to take exception to that.’
      • ‘The flame-haired midfielder refused to hold back, launching into a couple of tough tackles which the Argentines took exception to.’
      • ‘So the Sikh protesters in Birmingham got their way, and succeeded in forcing a theatre to close a play they took exception to.’
      • ‘You took exception to that in terms of verbal abuse and although that man posed no threat to you at all, you struck him two blows in the face.’
      • ‘Suddenly there is a remark that one of the party takes exception to, usually something stupid and inconsequential.’
      • ‘You will be aware, under the Standing Orders, that the issue the Minister has raised about my credibility is one I have every right to take exception to.’
      • ‘And one woman made a comment that the other woman took exception to, and the voices got raised.’
      • ‘He hit her repeatedly on the head with a hammer after she made a throwaway remark he took exception to in a Halifax pub where she had been relaxing with friends.’
      • ‘The Attorney-General Philip Ruddock took exception to that, and took the rare step of publicly criticising the Police Commissioner.’
      • ‘He took exception to that and immediately went out.’
      • ‘This was the first line of questioning that Rix took exception to.’
      • ‘Tour buses, which Mr Poole takes exception to, are no bad thing if they are all well maintained and look dignified.’
      • ‘She added: ‘We think there was some frivolity and someone took exception to what was said or someone's action.’’
      • ‘He seems to think he has some feudal right to assault anyone whose face he takes exception to.’
      • ‘He takes exception to what he considers to be the incestuous nature of many of the artist-run galleries.’
      • ‘I'm sure we've said nothing in class that you could take exception to.’
      • ‘One thing they do take exception to, though, is being moved.’
      • ‘While we're no exception, we do take exception to those who think this is the beginning of the end of business on the Internet as we know it.’
      object, raise an objection, express objections
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  • with the exception of

    • Except; not including.

      ‘all water sports, with the exception of scuba diving, are complimentary’
      • ‘However, this year with the exception of two late departures, the rooms were brilliant.’
      • ‘Boil the water and lemon rind in a saucepan and add the remaining apricots with the exception of six halves.’
      • ‘The Britpop wave never really took off in France, with the exception of Oasis and Blur, and perhaps Pulp.’
      • ‘Some of our matches have been easy and with the exception of the Wexford game we have been in control of most of the games.’
      • ‘He had always been a forward and was usually very aggressive with the exception of today.’
      • ‘The walls were fairly bare, with the exception of two paintings on opposite walls.’
      • ‘Fishermen around the coast with the exception of the south and west would be devastated, he said.’
      • ‘Outside Dublin, with the exception of North Dublin County, there was no serious rising.’
      • ‘We found it impossible to go past this, with the exception of Emerald, who feasted on bacon and eggs.’
      • ‘Everyone at the meeting with the exception of one was in agreement.’
      • ‘They are all here with the exception of the father, who couldn't come.’
      • ‘In those that have been implemented, children are excluded, with the exception of those with diabetes.’
      • ‘The country was isolated from any contact with the outside world, with the exception of China.’
      • ‘He said that with the exception of one apartment all curtains are in place.’
      • ‘If someone asks me how to spell a word, with the exception of just a few, I get it right.’
      • ‘The course on the day was in good condition with the exception of three sanded greens.’
      • ‘Same thing happens over here as well with the exception of only a love relationship.’
      • ‘The two teams were on their feet for the best part of two and a half hours, with the exception of the interval break.’
      • ‘The first half was utterly forgettable with the exception of just a few saving graces.’
      • ‘The competition is open to all farmers with the exception of Pedigree Simmental breeders.’
      except, except for, excepting, excluding, not including, omitting, leaving out, not counting, but, besides, barring, bar, other than, exclusive of, saving, save, apart from, aside from
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  • without exception

    • With no one or nothing excluded.

      ‘almost without exception, all the residents are opposed to this vandalism’
      • ‘Everyone without exception, regardless of creed, colour, race or class!’
      • ‘It has left everybody here, without exception, just devastated.’
      • ‘Everyone is exceptionally polite, and everyone seems to speak English, without exception very good English.’
      • ‘The Bulgarian police who had stopped them had without exception sent them on their way with smiles and good wishes, they said.’
      • ‘They are the same people with whom every single Friday, without exception, I have this conversation.’
      • ‘Almost without exception they go straight into the file marked ‘Deleted Items’’
      • ‘All of what he says about Derrida's thought is, without exception, false.’
      • ‘Sources consulted are, without exception, English and French.’
      • ‘And last week the flag belonged to all New York, without exception, irrespective of colour, class or birthplace.’
      • ‘Everyone, without exception, wanted a new era of friendship and peace.’
      • ‘Prices are fair without exception and are comparable to those found at Oxford's faintly generic French chain restaurants.’
      • ‘There were numerous cases of people claiming to have the stuff for sale to the highest bidder, but they all without exception turned out to be fraudulent.’
      • ‘This is the same with every doctor I've visited in my life, without exception; they never run on schedule.’
      • ‘And then it struck me: every single one of them, without exception, was from my home state.’
      • ‘Almost without exception, children become more intelligent, almost day by day, and if you watch them, you can see this happen.’
      • ‘Despite these disruptions, his teachers, without exception, remember him as high-achieving and friendly.’
      • ‘The law will be applied without exception, notably in public places.’
      • ‘Everyone, without exception, had had a pleasant Xmas and a fine New Year and all and sundry were in moods so dandy it was like Springtime come early.’
      • ‘Every newspaper, as far as I can see without exception, devoted pages and pages of print and photographs to reporting the march.’
      • ‘If one whole side on any issue chooses almost without exception to remain silent then the discussion simply doesn't take place.’
      randomly, at random, unsystematically, aimlessly, unmethodically, without method, haphazardly, blindly, uncritically, undiscriminatingly, non-selectively, injudiciously
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Origin

Late Middle English: via Old French from Latin exceptio(n-), from excipere ‘take out’ (see except).

Pronunciation

exception

/ɛkˈsɛpʃ(ə)n//ɪkˈsɛpʃ(ə)n/