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except for (someone or something)
1. Excluding someone or something. Everyone turned their project in on time except for Brian. I'm having a pretty good day—well, except for that boring meeting this morning.
2. If not for something. I'm sorry, I would have called you except for all this work I have to get done.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Were it not for: I would join you except for my cold.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.