American Dictionary of the English Language

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EXCEL', verb transitive [Latin excello, the root of which, cello, is Not in use.

1. To go beyond; to exceed; to surpass in good qualities or laudable deeds; to outdo.

EXCELling others, these were great;

Thou greater still, must these excel

Many daughters have done virtuously, but

thou excellest them all. Proverbs 31:29.

2. To exceed or go beyond in bad qualities or deeds.

3. To exceed; to surpass.

EXCEL', verb intransitive To have good qualities, or to perform meritorious actions, in an unusual degree; to be eminent, illustrious or distinguished.

Bless the Lord, ye his angels, that excel in strength. Psalms 103:20.

We say, to excel in mathematics; to excel in painting; to excel in heroic achievements.