Acception Vs Exception: The Difference Explained

Acception Vs Exception

In this article, we are going to talk about two words that sound quite similar but have different meanings: “Acception” and “Exception”. These two words can be confusing, especially for people who are just learning English. By the end of this article, you’ll understand what each word means and how to use them correctly.

What is “Acception”?

The word “acception” is not used much these days. In fact, many people might not know it. “Acception” is an old word that means accepting something or agreeing with something. But, it’s so rare now that you probably won’t hear it in everyday conversations or read it in modern books.


  • The acception of gifts was a customary practice during ancient ceremonies.

What is “Exception”?

“Exception” is a word you’ll hear a lot more. It means something that does not follow a rule or a pattern. Think of it like this: if you have a rule that applies to everything, an exception is the one thing that doesn’t have to follow that rule. For example, if there is a rule that says “no eating in the classroom,” an exception might be a student who is allowed to eat because of a medical reason. That student is the exception to the rule.


  • Everyone is required to attend the meeting, with the exception of those on sick leave.
  • The store has a no-return policy, but there may be exceptions for defective products.

Difference Between ‘Acception’ and ‘Exception’

The English language is rife with homophones and words that sound alike but have different meanings. One such pair of confusing words is ‘acception’ and ‘exception.’ Despite their similar-sounding nature, these words serve distinct purposes in the language.

Aspect Acception Exception
Definition “Acception” is a rarely used term and is often considered archaic. It can mean acceptance or a positive reception of something. “Exception” refers to something that does not follow the general rule, an instance that is different from the majority or from what is usual.
Part of Speech Noun (rarely used) Noun
Usage in a Sentence “The acception of the gift was warm and heartfelt.” (Note: This usage is uncommon and might not be readily understood in modern contexts.) “An exception to the rule was made in this special case.”
Etymology Derives from Latin “acceptio,” meaning a receiving. Derives from Latin “exceptio,” meaning the act of taking out.
Commonality Rarely used in modern English. Commonly used in both spoken and written English.
Related Terms Acceptance, receiving, admittance. Exclusion, anomaly, irregularity.

Why the Confusion?

The main reason these words get mixed up is because they sound similar. They are what we call “homophones” – words that sound the same but have different meanings. This can make English tricky, especially for people who are just starting to learn the language.

Tips to Remember

  • Acception is about agreement or acceptance. Think of it as “accepting” something.
  • Exception is about being different or not following a rule. Remember it by thinking of something “excluded” from the usual.


  • Is “Acception” a real word?

Yes, but it’s not commonly used. Most people use “acceptance” instead.

  • Can there be more than one exception?

Yes, there can be many exceptions to a rule.

  • Should I use “Acception” in everyday conversation?

It’s better to use “acceptance” as “Acception” might confuse people.

  • How can I remember the difference?

Think of “Acception” as “accepting” and “Exception” as “excluding” from the norm.

  • Are there other words like this in English?

Yes, English has many homophones, like “their” and “there”, which sound the same but have different meanings.

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acception or exception

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