Difference Between Excess and Excessive

Excess is a noun and also acts as adjective which is defined as a quantity of something that is more than obligatory, permissions, or profitable. Other words which means same as excess includes profusion, surplus, overabundance, glut, etc.

On the other hand, Excessive is an adjective as well as an adverb which means a degree that is so much significant to be reasonable or acceptable. Other words which means same as Excessive includes uncurbed, lavish, imprudent, immoderate, etc.

Excess vs Excessive

The main difference between Excess and Excessive is that Excess is a noun that means more or to exceed a particular mark in something; it is considered as moderate quantity when compared to Excessive. Excessive is an adjective that means too much or much more than what is required.

Excess vs

These two words are very demented homonyms because usually people get confused that which word is to be used in a particular situation and why. The following four examples will definitely help people to understand and recognize the difference between them.


  1. We have an excess of sporting talent in our school.
  2. Excessive detail is a cause of lack of unity.
  3. They both eat to excess.
  4. The current structure of education is excessively convoluted.


Comparison Table Between Excess and Excessive (in Tabular Form)

Parameter of ComparisonExcessExcessive
MeaningExcess actually means exceeding a limited amount or doing something out of the boundary.Excessive is defined as another way of saying so much or too much.
Grammar ClassExcess is a noun and also acts as an adjective.Excessive is an adjective and also acts as an adverb. .
DescribesIt describes something more than common or more then necessity.It describes that one is crossing the normal hurdle, something very lavish.
Similar wordsSurfeit, superfluity, intemperance, glut, etc.Unrestrained, extravagant, uncontrolled, lavish, etc.
Examples1. You will have to pay for the excess.
2. Alcohol can be very harmful if taken in excess.
1. He takes an excessive interest in sports.
2. Excessive drinking can damage liver.


What is Excess?

It is derived from a Middle English and Old French word exces and Classical Latin word excesses from the past participle of exceeder: In simple wordings, we can say that Excess is the intemperance of anything that means more than the necessary quantity or greater than the needed amount. It is a noun but also can be used as an adjective in many sentences.

The synonyms of excess include glut, superfluity, surplus, etc. Following examples of sentences will help to understand the proper usage of the word “EXCESS”: –

  1. This word acting as a noun: –
  1. He lived a life of excess.
  2. They were provided with an excess of donations.
  3. We can see an excess talent and motivation in our college.
  4. You need not pay for the extras.
  1. This word acting as an adjective: –
  1. There is a charge for excess baggage.
  2. A humble request to remove excess water from the glass.
  3. Ram and Sham play to excess.
  4. Excess knowledge than required always acts as a dangerous weapon.

What is Excessive?

Excessive is used in an abstract sense, when there is some amount of something which is at the very top and needed to be pulled back to a normal state. It is derived from a mixture of Latin, medieval Latin word excessivus, and Old French word excessif.

Excessive comes under the category of adjectives and adverbs. The synonyms of the word Excessive include exorbitant, extreme, inordinate, outrageous, undue, etc.

Following examples of sentences will help to understand the proper usage of the word “EXCESSIVE”: –  

This word acting as an adjective: – 

  1. Excessive farming had destitute the soil.
  2. Tony is fed-up with the excessive noise from the neighbour’s house.
  3. You should not command such an excessive charge.

This word acting as an adverb: –

  1. These are excessively high prices.
  2. The nation relies excessively on abstracting from abroad.

My friend had started consuming pills and drinking excessively.

Main Differences Between Excess and Excessive

  1. The word excessive can be used as an adverb or an adjective in sentences, whereas the word excess can be used as a noun and also as an adjective in the sentences.
  2. If we take pronunciation in the consideration, we strain on the second syllable when we are pronouncing the word excess whereas a stress on the third syllable is given, at the time of pronouncing the word excessive.
  3. Excess means to cross a limited boundary which is not a necessity at all whereas excessive means too much or more than expectations or significantly a very higher amount or a degree.
  4. Excessive is likely to have a negative implication or bad feeling, whereas excess does not.
  5. The words which have the same meaning as to excess include surplus, overconsumption, redundant, profligacy, etc whereas the words having a similar meaning to excessive includes lavish, extreme, unbridled, outrageous, etc.
Difference Between Excess and



The words excess and excessive have very much similar meanings but have a lot of differences as discussed. Excess actually means to surpass the limitations that are set up for a particular task whereas excessive means to do something outrageous or extravagant which is beyond thinking and expectations.

The word excess acts both as an adjective and as a noun. On the other hand, the word excessive acts both as an adverb and as an adjective.

The complete stress in the word excessive is on the third syllable whereas the full focus and stress in the word excess is on the second syllable. Express describes something more than usual whereas excessive describes something different and unique from normal. 


  1. https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/excessive
  2. https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/excess
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