Definition of ex in US English:



  • A former husband, wife, or other partner in a relationship.

    ‘I don't want my ex to spoil what I have now’
    • ‘We have good relationships with my exes (except for my youngest's father) and their parents.’
    • ‘It's not at all uncommon to meet poor men who have left behind a winding trail of exes and their unanticipated progeny.’
    • ‘Now assume, as the survey does, that a large proportion (say half) of the ‘Separated’ figure consists of angry exes.’
    • ‘Slagging off parents and exes to the kids is an endless loop; the people who suffer most are the children.’
    • ‘Of course, once you do manage to establish a friendship with an ex, you then get to deal with the joys of how your new relationships handle your friendships with your exes.’
    • ‘Before all the women who came before our wives or our exes, we were brothers.’
    • ‘I have brunch with my partner and my exes - male and female - and their partners and our friends: a web of relationships makes us family.’
    • ‘I've been so fixated on his exes and my neurotic and unnecessary reactions to them that I haven't even considered the effect on him of my past dozens.’
    • ‘And people were delighted to send in their stories of their exes.’
    • ‘No matter what subject they tackle (child porn, dodgy exes, rape) they rarely run adrift into cliches, and always manage to throw in some humour.’
    • ‘In Quebec, unlike other provinces, common-law exes aren't eligible for alimony and the women's movement has never protested this.’
    • ‘And if we were to maintain these friendships with our exes, are we seeking to compare ourselves to their current partners in order to assert our self-worth?’
    • ‘Perhaps all single people should be forced on Valentine's Day to watch videos of their exes cavorting around with their new partners to make them think about what they had given away.’
    • ‘This one friend has been shrieking about her exes, and in particular, how one of them just keeps bludging on her, and how she keeps him happy by giving him $500 a month.’
    • ‘I'd like to think that relations with exes could be dealt with efficiently, professionally and intelligently.’
    • ‘Students use it to research their papers, jilted lovers use it to stalk their exes - and journalists use it for just about everything.’
    • ‘Issues with exes are even worse than issues with partners because you both think you aren't obliged to care.’
    • ‘Don't limit your conversation to sports, sci-fi/ comics and your exes.’
    • ‘They wonder about their current girlfriend's exes.’
    • ‘And come to think of it, a lot of my exes are liars.’


Early 19th century: independent usage of ex-.