What is the difference between excessive and surfeit?

excessive | surfeit |

As a adjective excessive

is exceeding the usual bounds of something; extravagant; immoderate.

As a noun surfeit is

(countable) an excessive amount of something.

As a verb surfeit is

to fill to excess.




(en adjective)
  • Exceeding the usual bounds of something; extravagant; immoderate.
  • "I personally consider putting a wide vibrato on a single 16th triplet note at 160 beats per minute rather excessive , nay even stupid."


    * See also


    * insufficient * deficient

    Derived terms

    * excessive number




  • (countable) An excessive amount of something.
  • A surfeit of wheat is driving down the price.
  • (uncountable) Overindulgence in either food or drink; overeating.
  • * Shakespeare
  • Now comes the sick hour that his surfeit made.
  • (countable) A sickness or condition caused by overindulgence.
  • King Henry I is said to have died of a surfeit of lampreys.
  • * Bunyan
  • to prevent surfeit and other diseases that are incident to those that heat their blood by travels
  • Disgust caused by excess; satiety.
  • * Burke
  • Matter and argument have been supplied abundantly, and even to surfeit .
  • * Sir Philip Sidney
  • Now for similitudes in certain printed discourses, I think all herbalists, all stories of beasts, fowls, and fishes are rifled up, that they may come in multitudes to wait upon any of our conceits, which certainly is as absurd a surfeit to the ears as is possible.


    * (excessive amount of something) excess, glut, overabundance, superfluity, surplus * (overindulgence in food or drink) gluttony, overeating, overindulgence


    (en verb)
  • To fill to excess.
  • * 1610 , , act 3 scene 3
  • *:You are three men of sin, whom Destiny,
  • *:That hath to instrument this lower world
  • *:And what is in't,—the never-surfeited sea
  • *:Hath caused to belch up you;
  • To feed someone to excess.
  • She surfeited her children on sweets.
  • (reflexive) To overeat or feed to excess.
  • *1906 , O. Henry,
  • *:To the door of this, the twelfth house whose bell he had rung, came a housekeeper who made him think of an unwholesome, surfeited worm that had eaten its nut to a hollow shell and now sought to fill the vacancy with edible lodgers.
  • (reflexive) To sicken from overindulgence.
  • Synonyms

    * (to fill to excess) fill, stuff * (to feed someone to excess) overfeed, stuff * (to overeat or feed to excess) indulge, overeat, overfeed * (to sicken from overindulgence) sicken