Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
with the exception of
With the exclusion of a particular thing. I really enjoy my new job, with the exception of the long hours.
there is an exception to every rule
Rules are not as clear, permanent, and unchanging as they may seem. A: "I'm so relieved that the principal has not punished my daughter for missing more days of school than school policy allows." B: "Well, she was very sick. There is an exception to every rule." As much as I try to remind her that there is an exception to every rule, my grandmother remains totally inflexible.
be the exception that proves the rule
To contradict a rule and thus confirm that the rule exists. A: "We're always told to get eight hours of sleep, but I usually feel really groggy when I sleep that much." B: "Well, I guess you're the exception that proves the rule."
take exception to (something)
To strongly disagree with or take offense at something. Excuse me, but I take exception to being characterized as some sort of opportunist, just because I happened to make some good investments before the economy collapsed. I know she takes exception to the way the newspaper represented the data from her study.
To strongly disagree with or take offense at something. If that's what you're saying, then yes, I take exception. Excuse me, but I take exception to being characterized as some sort of opportunist, just because I happened to make some good investments before the economy collapsed.
the exception that proves the rule
That which contradicts or goes against a supposed rule, and therefore proves it in one's mind. A: "Video games are all just mindless filth that rots kids' brains." B: "I don't know, a lot of them let kids express themselves creatively or learn about the world in new ways." A: "Bah, those are just the exceptions that prove the rule."
the exception proves the rule
That which contradicts or goes against a supposed rule therefore proves that it is almost always true. A: "Video games are all just mindless filth that rots kids' brains." B: "I don't know, a lot of them let kids express themselves creatively or learn about the world in new ways." A: "Bah, the exceptions just prove the rule."
True of all people or things being described. All employees without exception will be required to undergo and pass a drug screening test before their probationary period is over. Without exception, every single household in the state is being overcharged for their water usage.
make an exception
To allow someone or something to forego or bypass a usual rule, law, or standard. Often followed by "for (someone)." I usually don't let students hand in any assignments late, but considering the recent circumstances with your family, I'm willing to make an exception. We have to be firm with our rules for the kids—if we keep making exceptions like this, they won't take us seriously.
The exception proves the rule.
Prov. Something that does not follow a rule shows that the rule exists. (Often used facetiously, to justify some rule you have proposed but which someone else has listed exceptions. From a Latin phrase meaning that an exception tests a rule.) Ellen: Men are always rude. Jane: But Alan's always polite. And Larry and Ted are polite, too. Ellen: They're just the exceptions that prove the rule. Bill: All the shows on TV are aimed at people with low intelligence. Alan: What about that news program you like to watch? Bill: The exception proves the rule.
make an exception (for someone)
to suspend a rule or practice for someone in a single instance. Please make an exception just this once. The rule is a good one, and I will not make an exception for anyone.
take exception(to something)
1. to take offense at something. I must take exception to your remark. Sue took exception to Fred's characterization of Bill as a cheapskate.
2. to disagree with something. I have to take exception to the figure you quoted. The manager took exception to the statement about having only three employees.
Also, with the exception of. Other than, were it not for. For example, Except for Jack, everyone came to the party, or With the exception of the weather, everything went extremely well. [c. 1600]
See also: except
exception proves the rule, the
An instance that does not obey a rule shows that the rule exists. For example, John's much shorter than average but excels at basketball-the exception proves the rule . This seemingly paradoxical phrase is the converse of the older idea that every rule has an exception. [Mid-1600s]
make an exception
Exempt someone or something from a general rule or practice, as in Because it's your birthday, I'll make an exception and let you stay up as late as you want . This expression was first recorded about 1391.
take exception to
Disagree with, object to, as in I take exception to that remark about unfair practices. This idiom, first recorded in 1542, uses exception in the sense of "objection," a meaning obsolete except in a few phrases.
the exception that proves the rule
You say that something is the exception that proves the rule to mean that the example that you have just mentioned is not normal and is the opposite of what you usually find. Towers should generally be arranged in clusters, but the Post Office Tower was the exception that proved the rule — it needs to stand alone so that its signals are not interrupted. The most creative minds are often said to be the product of a problematic childhood, but Hornby must be the exception that proves the rule. Note: `Prove' here means `to test by experiment or analysis' rather than `to establish as true'. So, the meaning is that an exception tests a rule, not that it establishes the rule as true in all other situations.
the exception that proves the rulea particular case that is so unusual that it is evidence of the validity of the rule that generally applies.
This phrase comes from the Latin legal maxim exceptio probat regulum in casibus non exceptis ‘exception proves the rule in the cases not excepted’. This in fact meant that the recognition of something as an exception proved the existence of a rule, but the idiom is popularly used or understood to mean ‘a person or thing that does not conform to the general rule affecting others of that class’
1998 Spectator The success of The Full Monty in the United States is an exception which proves the rule. On such lucky breaks, industries and economies are not built.
the exˈception that proves the ˈrule(saying) people say that something is the exception that proves the rule when they are stating something that seems to be different from the normal situation, but they mean that the normal situation remains true in general: English people are supposed to be very reserved, but Pete is the exception that proves the rule — he’ll chat to anyone!
make an exˈceptionallow somebody not to follow the usual rule on one occasion: Children are not usually allowed in, but I’m prepared to make an exception in this case.
take exˈception to somethingbe very offended by a remark, suggestion, etc: I take great exception to your suggestion that I only did this for the money.
with the exˈception ofexcept; not including: All his novels are set in Italy with the exception of his last.
without exˈceptionused to emphasize that the statement you are making is always true and everyone or everything is included: All students without exception must take the English examination.
Were it not for: I would join you except for my cold.
See also: except
To express opposition by argument; object to: took exception to the prosecutor's line of questioning.