Excess vs Excessive: Difference and Comparison

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

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

Key Takeaways

  1. Excess is a noun or adjective that denotes an amount more than necessary, required, or desired; excessive is an adjective that describes something as being too much or beyond an acceptable limit.
  2. Excess refers to a surplus or overabundance of something; excessive suggests that something goes beyond what is reasonable or appropriate.
  3. Both excess and excessive indicate an abundance or too much of something, but excess identifies the surplus itself, while excessive characterizes the nature or degree of the abundance.

Excess vs Excessive

Excess implies an amount that is more than necessary, surplus, or more than what is needed. Excessive refers to an action or situation going beyond what is fair, reasonable, or expected, to an extent considered unacceptable or inappropriate.

Excess vs

These two words are very demented homonyms because people get confused about the word to use in a particular situation and why. The following four examples will help people understand and recognise their differences.


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


Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonExcessExcessive
MeaningExcess 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 serves as an adverb.
DescribesIt describes something more than expected or more than necessary.It explains that one is crossing the average hurdle, something very lavish.
Similar wordsSurfeit, superfluity, intemperance, glut, etc.Unrestrained, extravagant, uncontrolled, luxurious, 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 the liver.


What is Excess?

It is derived from the Middle English and Old French word excess 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. The following examples of sentences will help to understand the proper usage of the word “EXCESS”: –

  1. This word acts 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 of talent and motivation in our college.
  4. You need not pay for the extras.
  1. This word acts 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 abstractly when there is some amount of something which is at the very top and needs to be pulled back to a normal state. It is derived from a mixture of Latin, the medieval Latin word excessive, and the Old French word absurd.

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

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

This word acts 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 acts 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. Excess can be used as an adverb or an adjective in sentences, whereas excess can be used as a noun and adjective in sentences.
  2. If we consider pronunciation, we strain on the second syllable when pronouncing the word excess. In contrast, stress on the third syllable is given when pronouncing the word excessively.
  3. Excess means crossing a limited, unnecessary boundary, whereas excessive standards are too much or more than expectations or significantly a higher amount or a degree.
  4. Excessive is likely to have a negative implication or terrible feeling, whereas excess does not.
  5. The words with the same meaning as excess include surplus, overconsumption, redundant, profligacy, etc., whereas those with a similar purpose to excessive include lavish, extreme, unbridled, outrageous, etc.
Difference Between Excess and

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