1. Of the highest or finest quality; exceptionally good for its kind: enjoyed an excellent meal at the restaurant.
2. Archaic Being so to an extreme degree.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin excellēns, excellent-, present participle of excellere, to excel; see EXCEL.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.