1. a short trip or outing to some place, usually for a special purpose and with the intention of a prompt return: a pleasure excursion; a scientific excursion.
  2. a trip on a train, ship, etc., at a reduced rate: weekend excursions to mountain resorts.
  3. the group of persons making such a journey: an excursion of tourists.
  4. a deviation or digression: excursions into futile philosophizing.
  5. Physics. the displacement of a body or a point from a mean position or neutral value, as in an oscillation.
  6. an accidental increase in the power level of a reactor, usually forcing its emergency shutdown.
  7. Machinery.
    1. the range of stroke of any moving part.
    2. the stroke itself.
  8. Obsolete. a sally or raid.

verb (used without object)

  1. to go on or take an excursion.


  1. of, relating to, or intended for use on excursions: an excursion fare; an excursion bus.


  1. a short outward and return journey, esp for relaxation, sightseeing, etc; outing
  2. a group of people going on such a journey
  3. (modifier) of or relating to special reduced rates offered on certain journeys by railan excursion ticket
  4. a digression or deviation; diversionan excursion into politics
  5. (formerly) a raid or attack
  6. physics
    1. a movement from an equilibrium position, as in an oscillation
    2. the magnitude of this displacement
  7. the normal movement of a movable bodily organ or part from its resting position, such as the lateral movement of the lower jaw
  8. machinery the locus of a point on a moving part, esp the deflection of a whirling shaft

1570s, “a deviation in argument,” also “a military sally,” from Latin excursionem (nominative excursio) “a running forth, sally, excursion, expedition,” noun of action from past participle stem of excurrere “run out, run forth, hasten,” from ex- “out” (see ex-) + currere “to run” (see current (adj.)). Sense of “journey” recorded in English by 1660s.

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