Definition of excursus in English:



  • 1A detailed discussion of a particular point in a book, usually in an appendix.

    • ‘On this last problem he supplies a long philosophical excursus, summarising contemporary Western arguments as well as notions in Nyaya philosophy.’
    • ‘This reversal is the subject of Herodotus' detailed account in the long excursus he consecrates in Book 3 to the theme of the hostility between Corinth and her colony Corcyra.’
    • ‘Book 2 takes the form of a massive excursus on the geography, customs, and history of Egypt, which was the next target of Persian expansionism, under Cyrus' son and successor, Cambyses.’
    • ‘In lieu of that volume, he has presented excursuses on reflexivity in most of the half-dozen books he has published.’
    1. 1.1A digression in a written text.
      • ‘If this is so, far from sidelining the importance of the moral environment, the excursus through determinism will catapult it to the head of the agenda.’
      • ‘This volume also includes Moloney's excursus on theories of Johannine community history.’
      • ‘By way of cautionary note, I turn to a brief excursus on the work of Norman O. Brown, whom I have deliberately chosen as a representative figure from an earlier era, through which my generation lived, but an era which is now past.’
      • ‘The book is divided into three parts, with seven chapters in all; the work includes also four small excursuses.’
      • ‘A number of excursuses also reduce the need for repetition by producing informative essays to which cross-reference can be made.’
      deviation, detour, diversion, departure, excursus
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Early 19th century: from Latin, excursion, from excurrere run out.