Acception or Exception – Which Spelling Is Correct?

Have you ever heard the words “Acception” and “Exception”? Because they sound fairly similar we want to know if they’re synonyms.

We also want to know if they’re correct or should be avoided. Also, let’s find out what each word means and what’s the most appropriate way to use them.

Acception or Exception – Which Spelling Is Correct?

“Acception” and “Exception” aren’t synonyms, despite sounding very similar. “Exception” describes something or someone that’s not included in a rule. “Acception” is an archaic word no one uses anymore, that was used to indicate favoritism or preference. You can use the word “Exception”, but should avoid using “Acception”.

acception or exception

Take a look at the examples below:

  • The company will make no acceptions to the rule. (incorrect)
  • The company will make no exceptions to the rule.

“Exception” and “Acception” aren’t synonyms. Those words don’t mean the same and they cannot interchange in an attempt to convey the same message.

The only correct form to indicate something that’s not inside of the rule is the word “Exception”. “Acception” should be avoided, because it’s incorrect.


“Acception” is an archaic, obsolete word that no one uses anymore. In the past, it indicated someone had received some sort of favoritism. However, it’s been a long time since this word was part of the English language as a relevant word.

But is “Acception” a word? According to The Cambridge Dictionary, it’s not. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary states that “Acception” is a variation of the word “Acceptation”, which isn’t also used too often.

Take a look at some examples that include the word “Acception” used incorrectly, followed by a correct version o the same sentence.

  1. Could you please make an acception for us? (incorrect)
  2. Could you please make an exception for us?
  1. You’re an acception to the rule. (incorrect)
  2. You’re an exception to the rule.
  1. Teachers shouldn’t make acceptions between students in the classroom.
  2. People should be treated fairly, with no acceptions.

Sentences 5 and 6 show “Acception” being correctly used, so we can have an idea of what a sentence with this word would look like. However, keep in mind that it’s an obsolete form and people don’t talk like that anymore.

The truth is that if you used the word “Acception” your audience would likely not understand what you say.


“Exception” is someone or something that isn’t included in the rule. Because they’re an “Exception”, they are treated differently or behave differently than what was initially expected. “Exception” can be a positive thing when someone or something is an outlier.

However, it can also be a negative thing when something or someone is excluded and not allowed to participate.

The Cambridge Dictionary defines “Exception” as follows: “someone or something that is not included in a rule, group, or list or that does not behave in an expected way”.

Take a look at how to use “Exception” in a sentence:

  1. It’s sad, but they won’t make an exception for us.
  2. With the exception of a few greetings, Julia never really spoke to me.
  3. The day had been usual, with the exception of Olivia’s friend visiting her.
  4. The landlord doesn’t usually allow pets but made an exception for us.
  5. She disliked everyone in the class, with the exception of her best friend.

Which Is Used the Most?

Which one of those forms is used more often, “Exception” or “Acception”? Take a look at the graph from Google Ngram Viewer below to find out.

acception or exception usage

“Exception” is the most used word. We expected to see that, because “Exception” is a valid word, relevant today, and used by many of us daily. “Acception” appears at the bottom of the graph, barely used, as it should.

Keep in mind that “Acception” is an archaic word, which isn’t used anymore. Its meaning is obsolete and you should avoid using it.

Final Thoughts

“Exception” is used to describe things or people that are not included in a rule. “Acception” is an obsolete word, that was used in the past to indicate favoritism or preference in certain situations.“Acception” and “Exception” aren’t synonyms. You can use the word “Exception”, but should avoid using “Acception”.