exceed


exceed
exceed, surpass, transcend, excel, outdo, outstrip mean to go or to be beyond a stated or implied limit, measure, or degree.
Exceed may imply an overpassing of a limit set by one's right, power, authority, or jurisdiction
{

this task exceeds his ability

}
{

he has exceeded his authority in allowing such use of our land

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or by prescription (as in time or space)
{

they were penalized if they exceeded the allotted time by even one day

}
The term may also imply superiority in size, amount, degree, or number according to a given standard or measure
{

my wrath shall far exceed the love I ever bore— Shak.

}
{

an Inferno which exceeds anything that Dante imagined— Henry Miller

}
Surpass often replaces exceed, especially when superiority to a standard or measure is implied
{

the reality surpassed our expectations

}
When the intent is to imply superiority in quality (as in virtue, in merit, or in skill) rather than in quantity or extent, surpass is usually preferred to exceed
{

it is safe to say that in this play Middleton is surpassed by one Elizabethan alone, and that is Shakespeare— T. S. Eliot

}
{

he surpasses all others in keenness of mind

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Transcend carries so strong an implication of rising across or above a limit or measure that, although it is sometimes used in place of exceed
{

the powers of government are limited and ... its limits are not to be transcendedJohn Marshall

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and often in place of surpass
{

this sorrow transcending all sorrows— Hudson

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It is the precise term to use when a higher than human or earthly limit, standard, or measure is implied
{

a point of view transcending the purely human outlook on the universe— Binyon

}
{

in the rather sloppy Socialism which pervades this document there is nothing which seems to transcend the limits of unaided human intelligence— Inge

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In intransitive use excel implies reaching a preeminence in accomplishment or achievement
{

he excelled in the painting of miniatures

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but in transitive use it differs little from surpass
{

love divine, all love excellingWesley

}
{

he excelled his friends in archery

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{

during their seminary years he had easily surpassed his friend in scholarship, but he always realized that Joseph excelled him in the fervor of his faith— Cather

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Outdo is less formal than excel or surpass, but it is often preferred when there is the intent to connote the breaking of a previously established record
{

he hath in this action outdone his former deeds doubly— Shak.

}
{

a competition in deceit in which, I admit, he outdid them— Wister

}
Outstrip is often preferred to excel or surpass when one wishes to suggest a race, a competition, or a strenuous effort to get ahead
{

he would not allow anyone to outstrip him in zeal

}
{

instead of allowing his reader the easy victory, he takes pride in outstripping him completely— Edmund Wilson

}

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • exceed — ex‧ceed [ɪkˈsiːd] verb [transitive] 1. to be more than a particular number or amount: • Working hours must not exceed 42 hours a week. • individuals with assets exceeding £500,000 2. to go beyond an official or legal limit: • Pesticide levels… …   Financial and business terms

  • Exceed — Ex*ceed , v. i. 1. To go too far; to pass the proper bounds or measure. In our reverence to whom, we can not possibly exceed. Jer. Taylor. [1913 Webster] Forty stripes he may give him, and not exceed. Deut. xxv. 3. [1913 Webster] 2. To be more or …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • exceed — [ek sēd′, iksēd′] vt. [ME exceden < OFr exceder < L excedere < ex , out, beyond + cedere, to go: see CEDE] 1. to go or be beyond (a limit, limiting regulation, measure, etc.) [to exceed a speed limit] 2. to be more than or greater than;… …   English World dictionary

  • Exceed — Ex*ceed , v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Exceeded}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Exceeding}.] [L. excedere, excessum, to go away or beyond; ex out + cedere to go, to pass: cf. F. exc[ e]der. See {Cede}.] To go beyond; to proceed beyond the given or supposed limit or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • exceed — late 14c., from O.Fr. exceder (14c.) exceed, surpass, go too far, from L. excedere depart, go beyond, be in excess, surpass, from ex out (see EX (Cf. ex )) + cedere go, yield (see CEDE (Cf. cede)). Related: Exceeded; exceeding …   Etymology dictionary

  • exceed — index carouse, outbalance, outweigh, overestimate, overlap, overreach, overstep, predominate (outnumber) …   Law dictionary

  • exceed — [v] be superior to; surpass beat, best, better, break record*, cap, distance, eclipse, excel, get upper hand*, go beyond, go by, have advantage, have a jump on*, have it all over*, out distance, outdo, outpace, outreach, outrun, outshine,… …   New thesaurus

  • exceed — ► VERB 1) be greater in number or size than. 2) go beyond what is stipulated by (a set limit). 3) surpass. ORIGIN Latin excedere, from cedere go …   English terms dictionary

  • exceed — verb ADVERB ▪ considerably, far, greatly, significantly, substantially, vastly ▪ clearly, comfortably (esp. BrE), easily …   Collocations dictionary

  • exceed — verb Etymology: Middle English exceden, from Middle French exceder, from Latin excedere, from ex + cedere to go Date: 14th century transitive verb 1. to extend outside of < the river will exceed its banks > 2. to be greater than or superior to 3 …   New Collegiate Dictionary


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