Definition for EX'CEL-LENCE, or EX'CEL-LEN-CY

EX'CEL-LENCE, or EX'CEL-LEN-CY, a. [Fr. from L. excellentia.]

  1. The state of possessing good qualities in an unusual or eminent degree; the state of excelling in any thing.
  2. Any valuable 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.
  3. Dignity; high rank in the scale of beings. Angels are beings of more excellence than men; men are beings more excellence than brutes.
  4. 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.

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