English can be a confusing language—for native and non-native speakers alike. Many words that have completely different meanings are both spelled and pronounced very similarly. The words access and excess are good examples of just how confusing certain English words can be.
The word access originated from Middle English (in the sense ‘sudden attack of illness’): from Latin accessus, from the verb accedere ‘to approach’ (see accede). Sense 1 of the noun is first recorded in the early 17th century. The word excess originated from late Middle English: via Old French from Latin excessus, from excedere ‘go out, surpass’.
Access as noun:
Access as verb:
Excess as noun:
Excess as adjective:
Trim any excess fat off the meat.
Access or excess:
These two words may sound similar, but excess vs. access actually have very different meanings. Access means the ability to or means of approaching or entering a place. Associate this word with accessible. Excess means extra or more than necessary. There is a good memory aid that can help you remember the difference between these two words. Excess means something extra or exceeding the required amount. Excess and extra both start with ex, so if you associate these two words together, it makes it easy to remember. You can also associate the word access with the word accessible for a memory trick.