ex-

out of, from

Quick Summary

Prefixes are key morphemes in English vocabulary that begin words. The prefix ex-, with its variants e- and ec-, mean “out.” Examples using this prefix include exceed, eject, and eccentric. An easy way to remember that the prefix ex- means “out” is through the word exit, for when you exit a room, you go “out” of it.

Don't "X" Out "Ex!"

Prefixes are key morphemes in English vocabulary that begin words. The prefix ex-, with its variants e- and ec-, mean “out.”

Ex- is the most common form of this prefix. For instance, when you exit a building, you go “out” of it. When you extend your hand in friendship towards another, you stretch it “out” towards that person. If something exceeds normal boundaries, it goes “out” of them. And when you exclude someone from a group, you shut him “out.” The prefix ex- most commonly occurs before a vowel, and select consonants, such as “t” and “c.”

E- is a spelling variant of the prefix ex-, which also means “out.” When you eject someone from a game for being obnoxious, you throw him “out.” When a bulb emits light, it sends it “out.” When someone emigrates, he moves “out” of one country to live in another. And when you eradicate something? You tear it “out” by its root to get rid of it completely. The prefix e- always occurs before a consonant.

The last form of the prefix ex- is ec-, which also means “out.” An eccentric person is unusual because she is “out” of the center of usual conduct. An appendectomy is a cutting “out” of the appendix, just as a tonsillectomy is a cutting “out” of the tonsils. And when someone is ecstatic about something that happened, she stands “out” of her normal state because she is so very excited. The ec- form of the prefix ex- always occurs before a consonant.

We are now “out” of time. Never again will you leave “out,” eject, or exclude any words with e-, ec-, or ex-, making your mind ecstatic with vocabulary joy!

  1. exit: go ‘out’
  2. extend: stretch ‘out’
  3. exceed: go ‘out’
  4. exclude: shut ‘out’
  5. eject: throw ‘out’
  6. emit: send ‘out’
  7. emigrate: move ‘out’
  8. eradicate: pull ‘out’ by the root
  9. eccentric: ‘out’ of center
  10. appendectomy: cutting the appendix ‘out’
  11. tonsillectomy: cutting the tonsils ‘out’
  12. ecstatic: of standing ‘out’ from a normal emotional state

Usage

  • exonerate

    When someone is exonerated from guilt, a task, or a responsibility, they are set free or excused from it.

  • extirpate

    If you extirpate something, you completely destroy it because it is unpleasant or unwanted.

  • explicate

    To explicate an idea or plan is to make it clear by explaining it.

  • excise

    When you excise something, you remove it by cutting it out.

  • inexorable

    The adjective inexorable describes a process that is impossible to stop once it has begun.

  • expedite

    When you expedite an action or process, you make it happen more quickly.

  • exculpate

    If you exculpate someone, you prove that they are not guilty of a crime.

  • expunge

    If you expunge something, you completely remove it or do away with it.

  • exponent

    An exponent of a particular idea or cause is someone who supports or defends it.

  • extricate

    When you extricate yourself from a difficult or unpleasant situation, you manage to escape it.

  • excoriate

    If you excoriate someone, you express very strong disapproval of something they did.

  • extemporaneous

    Something that is extemporaneous, such as an action, speech, or performance, is done without any preparation or practice beforehand.

  • exude

    If you exude a quality or feeling, people easily notice that you have a large quantity of it because it flows from you; if a smell or liquid exudes from something, it flows steadily and slowly from it.

  • exegesis

    Exegesis is a detailed explanation or interpretation of a piece of writing, especially a religious one.

  • exorbitant

    An exorbitant price or fee is much higher than what it should be or what is considered reasonable.

  • exalt

    When you exalt another person, you either praise them highly or promote them to a higher position in an organization.

  • exclusion

    Exclusion is the act of shutting someone out of a group or an activity.

  • excursion

    An excursion is a short trip or outing from which you return home fairly quickly.

  • execrate

    When you execrate someone, you curse them to show your intense dislike or hatred of them.

  • exhume

    When you exhume a body, you dig it out of the ground; likewise, you can exhume or bring something to light that has lain hidden or buried for a long time.

  • expansive

    Something expansive has a wide scope or is large in area.

  • expatriate

    An expatriate has been driven or exiled from their native land, so they are forced to live in another country; a person can also willingly become an expatriate.

  • expedient

    A thing or action that is expedient is useful, advantageous, or appropriate for getting something accomplished.

  • exposition

    An exposition is a detailed explanation or setting forth of an idea, theory, or problem, either in a written or spoken format.

  • expound

    When you expound something, you explain it in great detail, often taking a while to do so.

  • allege

    When you allege that someone has done something, you say or claim that they have done it without showing any proof.

  • exploit

    An exploit is an act that is often brave or courageous.

  • extort

    When you extort something from someone, such as money or goods, you force him to give it to you by means of threats or intimidation.

  • exodus

    An exodus is a mass departure of people from one land to another.

  • excerpt

    An excerpt from a book is a passage or selection from it.

  • affray

    An affray is a noisy and aggressive disagreement or fight in public.

  • export

    When people export goods, they carry them from one country into another to sell them.

  • extend

    When you extend something, such as time or a rubber band, you stretch it out, make it bigger or longer, or increase it.

  • avoid

    If you avoid something, you try to stay away from it.

  • expensive

    Something expensive costs a lot of money or has a high price.

  • exact

    An exact figure is correct or all right—there is nothing wrong at all.

  • expedition

    An expedition is a journey that is generally long and requires a lot of planning; it is often to a place that is far away and can be dangerous or hard to get to.

  • exhibit

    When you exhibit something, you put that thing out for people to see; it can also be when you show a feeling or type of behavior.

  • issue

    An issue is a problem or struggle with something.

  • expand

    When something expands, it gets or becomes bigger, increasing in size.

  • exception

    An exception to something, such as a rule, is not included in it or is not a part of it.

  • explore

    When you explore something, such as another country, you go into it to find out all about it.

  • excel

    If someone excels at something, such as running or playing chess, that person is really good at it.

  • express

    When you express your thoughts or feelings about something, you talk or write about them.

  • exceed

    be greater in scope or size than some standard

  • exclusive

    not divided or shared with others

  • exit

    move out of or depart from

  • expiration

    a coming to an end of a contract period

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