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American Dictionary of the English Language

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Excellence


EX'CELLENCE

EXCELLENCY, noun [Latin excellentia.] The state of possessing food qualities in an unusual or eminent degree; the state of excelling in any thing.

1. An valuabale quality; any thing highly laudable, meritorious or virtuous, in persons, or valuable and esteemed, in things. Purity of heart, uprightness of mind, sincerity, virtue, piety, are excellencies of character; symmetry of parts, strength and beauty are excellencies of body; an accurate knowledge of an art is an excellence in the artisan; soundness and durability are excellencies in timber; fertility, in land; elegance, in writing. In short, whatever contributes to exalt man, or to render him esteemed and happy, or to bless society, is in him an excellence

2. Dignity; high rank in the scale of beings. Angels are beings of more excellence than men; men are beings of more excellence than brutes.

3. A title of honor formerly given to kings and emperors, now given to embassadors, governors, and other persons, below the rank of kings, but elevated above the common classes of men.