Definition of excel in English:


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intransitive verbintransitive verb excels, intransitive verb excelling, intransitive verb excelled

[no object]
  • Be exceptionally good at or proficient in an activity or subject.

    ‘a sturdy youth who excelled at football’
    • ‘Downland not only excels in physical activities but in the academic sphere as well.’
    • ‘The ceremony included the honouring of budding students of the school for excelling in various activities.’
    • ‘The school chose to specialise in media after an audit showed pupils were increasingly opting for the subject and excelling.’
    • ‘She excelled in every subject and was friends with just about the entire school.’
    • ‘Again mathematics was his favourite subject but he also excelled at divinity.’
    • ‘Plus the fact that I happen to excel in all subjects, a bigger brain usage will do that to you.’
    • ‘Also shortlisted was a Chelmsford mother-of-three who excels as a football coach.’
    • ‘The capital side have been excelling in ladies football for the past few seasons, however this team now feels capable of taking on anyone.’
    • ‘He might not have the normal wherewithal for all the range of subjects, but in the areas that he excels at he is very, very intelligent.’
    • ‘This year's taxable activity is one at which we excel - working and paying wages.’
    • ‘He has the speed and strength to rush the passer and also excels in pass coverage.’
    • ‘She was a golden girl in her youth, having excelled academically and at sport.’
    • ‘He has also been a wonderful football coach and player, excelling in all the various positions on the field.’
    • ‘His rich father purchased him a prized education, but it was football at which the young Watson excelled.’
    • ‘He began to excel in it and represented Horwich in the final Youth Games held last weekend.’
    • ‘On the other hand, there is one thing that the party has been excelling at - the ability to expand its money-making activities.’
    • ‘By all reports he is well adjusted, excelling in his academic and sports activities.’
    • ‘It also released the actor into the roving role in which he excels.’
    • ‘But of course, it's the big jaunty disco showstoppers at which she excels.’
    • ‘It is the kind of scene at which McEwan excels: his depiction of the showdown is tense, visual and dramatic.’
    shine, be very good, be excellent, be brilliant, be outstanding, be skilful, be talented, be proficient, be expert, be pre-eminent, reign supreme, wear the crown, stand out, be the best, be unrivalled, be unparalleled, be unequalled, be without equal, be second to none, be unsurpassed
    surpass, outdo, outshine, outclass, outstrip, beat, beat hollow, top, cap, transcend, be better than, be superior to, go one better than, better, pass, eclipse, overshadow, put in the shade, put to shame
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/ikˈsel/ /ɪkˈsɛl/


Late Middle English from Latin excellere, from ex- ‘out, beyond’ + celsus ‘lofty’.