Definition of except in English:



  • Not including; other than.

    ‘naked except for my socks’
    ‘they work every day except Sunday’
    • ‘She just goes on talking, without a pause, except for the coffee, and my mind wanders again.’
    • ‘Spain established complete control over all the Italian states except Venice.’
    • ‘John and Norma Major filmed entirely in grey tone, except for the peas.’
    • ‘So we're all men of our word really… except for Elizabeth, who is in fact, a woman.’
    • ‘In particular, don't put writing on it except for brand names or logos.’
    • ‘Everyone seems to fall under the mercy of the council except for Van the man.’
    • ‘We were compatible at every level, except for my ethnic and religious background.’
    • ‘Everything is very quiet, except for the occasional floomfing sound of snow falling off pine trees and cedars.’
    • ‘Nearly everyone knew who I was except for one guy who kept accusing me of coming dressed as someone from The Simpsons.’
    • ‘The first was a head and shoulders shot of her apparently naked except for a white feather boa wrapped round her shoulders.’
    • ‘I love a trip to the cinema except for the rather sticky residue on the floor.’
    • ‘I looked around, but it was dark outside except for one street light at the corner a short way ahead of me.’
    • ‘The pup is pure white except for her black-skin ears, which have yet to grow their covering.’
    • ‘It helps that it's getting warmer and sunnier and more springlike, well except for the snow storm on the weekend.’
    • ‘The media coverage is always sensationalized here in the US except for possibly Public Radio.’
    • ‘All benchmarks in the region fell for the week except for Hong Kong, Singapore and India.’
    • ‘The discotheque becomes a free space, to which adults have no access, except for a minute glance through the door.’
    • ‘In 2000, Al Gore… did not win a single one of these states except New Mexico.’
    excluding, not including, excepting, omitting, leaving out, not counting, but, besides, barring, bar, other than, exclusive of, saving, save, apart from, aside from
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  • 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 had a leather band inside’
    • ‘The second half was really a mirror of the first, except that the Wolfhill defence was more solid.’
    • ‘The Medium Lobster is a higher being, except that it doesn't look that way to us.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘So far, no word is out on where the show will be shot exactly, except that it will be somewhere near Panama.’
    • ‘Pretty ordinary flat type food I think except that we hardly ever had vegetables.’
    • ‘It was like being in busy shipping lanes, except that they were full of whales.’
    • ‘The main design of all the houses was the same except that it varied in size.’
    • ‘Mr Greeno in his first statement said nothing about this except that the owner was not CCUK.’
    • ‘There was a light, cool breeze, which was pleasant enough except that it made the skin feel chilled and clammy.’
    • ‘She had been unable to say where she was except that it was wooded.’
    • ‘I have a similar problem, except that mine is all to do with people who are lost.’
    • ‘It's an impressive record, except that it loses some of its gloss on closer examination.’
    • ‘Technically, it's very similar to the prosthesis I have now, except for one major difference.’
    • ‘And this for a game which had no special appeal except that it featured the old rivals.’
    • ‘He understood them, except that there were some parts he was not able to finish.’
    • ‘It was said to have a similar appearance to the original homestead, except that it was built in brick.’
    • ‘It's all like home, except that here food is made and served with scrupulous hygiene.’
    • ‘Similar techniques are also being used to produce chocolate which is normal in every way, except that it is chewy.’
    • ‘It felt like I was in the torture scene from a science fiction movie, except that it didn't hurt.’
    other than, do other than, otherwise than, except
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    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.’


  • Specify as not included in a category or group; exclude.

    ‘he excepted from his criticism a handful of distinguished writers’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    exclude, omit, leave out, rule out, count out, disregard, pass over, bar
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See accept


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