Etymology
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excel (v.)

c. 1400, transitive, "to surpass, be superior to;" early 15c., intransitive, "be remarkable for superiority, surpass others," from Latin excellere "to rise, surpass, be superior, be eminent," from ex "out from" (see ex-) + -cellere "rise high, tower," related to celsus "high, lofty, great," from PIE root *kel- (2) "to be prominent; hill." Related: Excelled; excelling.

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Definitions of excel

excel (v.)
distinguish oneself;
She excelled in math
Synonyms: stand out / surpass
From wordnet.princeton.edu