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This page has 5 definitions of exceed in English. Exceed is a verb. Examples of how to use exceed in a sentence are shown. Also define these 9 related words and terms: larger, greater, better, beyond, limit, surpass, long, predominate, and excessive.


Alternative forms


From Middle English exceden, from Old French exceder, from Latin excedō (to go beyond), from ex- (out, forth) with cedō (to go); see cede and compare accede etc. Partly displaced native Old English ofersteppan, whence Modern English overstep.


  • IPA(key): /ɪkˈsiːd/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: ex‧ceed
  • Rhymes: -iːd


exceed (third-person singular simple present exceeds, present participle exceeding, simple past and past participle exceeded)

  1. (transitive) To be larger, greater than (something).
    The company's 2005 revenue exceeds that of 2004.
  2. (transitive) To be better than (something).
    The quality of her essay has exceeded my expectations.
  3. (transitive) To go beyond (some limit); to surpass; to be longer than.
    • c. 1603–1604 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Othello, the Moore of Venice”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act III, scene iii]:
      Name the time, but let it not / Exceed three days.
    • 2012 January, Stephen Ledoux, “Behaviorism at 100”, in American Scientist[1], volume 100, number 1, page 60:
      Becoming more aware of the progress that scientists have made on behavioral fronts can reduce the risk that other natural scientists will resort to mystical agential accounts when they exceed the limits of their own disciplinary training.
    Your password cannot exceed eight characters.
    • Limit definition
      A restriction; a bound beyond which one may not go. (1 of 12 limit definitions)
  4. (intransitive) To predominate.
  5. (intransitive, obsolete) To go too far; to be excessive.
    • 1646, Sir Thomas Browne, Pseudodoxia Epidemica, I.6:
      And to speak impartially, old Men, from whom we should expect the greatest example of Wisdom, do most exceed in this point of folly […].



According to the Oxford Dictionary website: "There is no established opposite to the word exceed, and it is quite often suggested that one is needed. We are gathering evidence of the word deceed 'be less than', but it has not yet reached our dictionaries."

Derived terms

Related terms


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Dictionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Further reading