1. An outgrowth or enlargement, especially an abnormal one, such as a wart.
2. A usually unwanted or unnecessary accretion: "Independent agencies were an excrescence on the Constitution" (Los Angeles Times).
[Middle English, from Latin excrēscentia, from neuter pl. of excrēscēns, excrēscent-, present participle of excrēscere, to grow out : ex-, ex- + crēscere, to grow; see ker-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
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Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.