Definition of exception in US English:

exception

noun

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

    ‘the drives between towns are a delight, and the journey to Graz is no exception’
    ‘while he normally shies away from introducing resolutions, he made an exception in this case’
    • ‘Most give pretty basic info with not a lot of flash, but there are always exceptions to the rule.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Those sort of mechanical problems are the exception rather than the rule nowadays.’
    • ‘An exception to this general rule is formed by a cheque which bears on its front the letter R.’
    • ‘A capable display by the man in the middle is now the exception rather than the rule.’
    • ‘While no two life sentences will be identical, exceptions to this general pattern will be rare.’
    • ‘The young girl featured in your article is the exception to the rule and I admire her for it.’
    • ‘There is an endless list of possible exceptions to this general outlook that may arise during the game.’
    • ‘There were only a few exceptions to this general pattern of noninvolvement.’
    • ‘The exceptions to the rule are on our coasts and hills - just where objectors do not want them to be.’
    • ‘I know it's a generalisation, and I'm always open to see the exceptions to the rule.’
    • ‘An exception puts a rule to test, it does not and cannot prove it in any way.’
    • ‘Luckily there is always an exception to every rule and this one is no different.’
    • ‘Meldrew and Greengrass, though, are the exceptions rather than the rule, she says.’
    • ‘I have a friend and neighbour called Peter Thomson who is an exception to the general rule.’
    • ‘There are always exceptions to the rule, but in general I think this is true.’
    • ‘There are a number of well-established exceptions to the general rule and their list is not closed.’
    • ‘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.’
    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; be offended by.

      ‘they took exception to his bohemian demeanor’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The flame-haired midfielder refused to hold back, launching into a couple of tough tackles which the Argentines took exception to.’
      • ‘The Attorney-General Philip Ruddock took exception to that, and took the rare step of publicly criticising the Police Commissioner.’
      • ‘He takes exception to what he considers to be the incestuous nature of many of the artist-run galleries.’
      • ‘Tour buses, which Mr Poole takes exception to, are no bad thing if they are all well maintained and look dignified.’
      • ‘There are two factors I really take exception to on television.’
      • ‘I'm sure we've said nothing in class that you could take exception to.’
      • ‘Well, I'm sure some journalists would take exception to that and say that they're not partisans of one side or the other.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She added: ‘We think there was some frivolity and someone took exception to what was said or someone's action.’’
      • ‘Suddenly there is a remark that one of the party takes exception to, usually something stupid and inconsequential.’
      • ‘He seems to think he has some feudal right to assault anyone whose face he takes exception to.’
      • ‘One thing they do take exception to, though, is being moved.’
      • ‘He took exception to that and immediately went out.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘And one woman made a comment that the other woman took exception to, and the voices got raised.’
      • ‘So the Sikh protesters in Birmingham got their way, and succeeded in forcing a theatre to close a play they took exception to.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This was the first line of questioning that Rix took exception to.’
      object, raise an objection, express objections
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  • with the exception of

    • Except; not including.

      • ‘The first half was utterly forgettable with the exception of just a few saving graces.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘If someone asks me how to spell a word, with the exception of just a few, I get it right.’
      • ‘However, this year with the exception of two late departures, the rooms were brilliant.’
      • ‘The country was isolated from any contact with the outside world, with the exception of China.’
      • ‘We found it impossible to go past this, with the exception of Emerald, who feasted on bacon and eggs.’
      • ‘They are all here with the exception of the father, who couldn't come.’
      • ‘The Britpop wave never really took off in France, with the exception of Oasis and Blur, and perhaps Pulp.’
      • ‘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 course on the day was in good condition with the exception of three sanded greens.’
      • ‘The competition is open to all farmers with the exception of Pedigree Simmental breeders.’
      • ‘He said that with the exception of one apartment all curtains are in place.’
      • ‘Everyone at the meeting with the exception of one was in agreement.’
      • ‘He had always been a forward and was usually very aggressive with the exception of today.’
      • ‘In those that have been implemented, children are excluded, with the exception of those with diabetes.’
      • ‘Same thing happens over here as well with the exception of only a love relationship.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Boil the water and lemon rind in a saucepan and add the remaining apricots with the exception of six halves.’
      • ‘The walls were fairly bare, with the exception of two paintings on opposite walls.’
      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.

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

/ikˈsepSH(ə)n//ɪkˈsɛpʃ(ə)n/