Difference Wiki

Excellent vs. Outstanding: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sawaira Riaz || By Sumera Saeed || Updated on November 28, 2023
"Excellent" denotes very good quality or high standard, while "outstanding" suggests remarkably good and standing out from others.

Key Differences

"Excellent" refers to a very high level of quality or performance, indicating something is extremely good within its category. It is an adjective used to describe something that meets or surpasses the expected standard. An excellent student, for example, consistently achieves high marks. On the other hand, "outstanding" often implies that something is noticeable or striking because it is so much better than others. An outstanding student might not only achieve high marks but also exhibits extraordinary characteristics that distinguish them from their peers.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 25, 2023
In terms of performance, something excellent fulfills all necessary criteria to a high standard. For instance, an excellent performance in a play would mean that all actors delivered their lines effectively and the production met the anticipated professionalism. However, an outstanding performance suggests that it went above and beyond excellence; it was memorable and surpassed expectations to the point of being exceptional.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 25, 2023
When considering accomplishments, "excellent" can be seen as a high level of achievement that satisfies all indicators of success. This could apply to a work project completed proficiently and on time. In contrast, "outstanding" achievements are those that not only meet all markers of success but also bring something extra to the table, perhaps innovating or improving the project in an unexpected and beneficial way.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 25, 2023
In academic grading, "excellent" might correspond to an 'A' grade, which signifies that the student has met all the learning objectives with very high quality. "Outstanding," however, could be used to describe the highest possible achievement or recognition in a field, such as a prestigious scholarship or award, suggesting that the recipient has surpassed even the top expectations.
Sara Rehman
Nov 25, 2023
Within a professional setting, an excellent worker is one who consistently meets their job requirements with high quality. They are reliable and proficient. Conversely, an outstanding worker is one who not only fulfills their job role but also adds unique value to the organization, perhaps through leadership, innovation, or significantly influencing positive changes.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 25, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Level of quality

Very high within its category
Exceptionally high and notable
Sumera Saeed
Nov 25, 2023

Frequency

Common in high achievers
Less common, implies rarity
Sumera Saeed
Nov 25, 2023

Comparison

Relative to expectations
Relative to others' performance
Sumera Saeed
Nov 25, 2023

Recognition

Acknowledged success
Acknowledged distinction
Sara Rehman
Nov 25, 2023

Connotation

Superior quality or ability
Superior quality or ability that is notable and distinguished
Sumera Saeed
Nov 25, 2023
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Excellent and Outstanding Definitions

Excellent

Extremely good or superior in some way.
The chef prepared an excellent meal.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 01, 2023

Outstanding

Conspicuously excellent; noticeably superior.
His contributions to research are outstanding.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 01, 2023

Excellent

Very good of its kind.
His excellent performance earned him a promotion.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 01, 2023

Outstanding

Exceptionally good.
The lead actress gave an outstanding performance.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 01, 2023

Excellent

Admirable, very commendable.
The team did an excellent job on the project.
Sara Rehman
Nov 01, 2023

Outstanding

Not settled or resolved.
There are several outstanding issues that need addressing.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 01, 2023

Excellent

Of the highest or finest quality.
She has an excellent command of the language.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 01, 2023

Outstanding

Unpaid or unfulfilled.
He still has outstanding debts.
Sara Rehman
Nov 01, 2023

Excellent

Deserving of the highest esteem.
The museum’s collection is truly excellent.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 01, 2023

Outstanding

Standing out among others due to excellence.
She was an outstanding figure in the field of biology.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 01, 2023

Excellent

Of the highest or finest quality; exceptionally good for its kind
Enjoyed an excellent meal at the restaurant.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 10, 2023

Outstanding

Excellent or exceptionally good
An outstanding essay that received an A+.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 10, 2023

Excellent

(Archaic) Being so to an extreme degree.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 10, 2023

Outstanding

Noticeable or conspicuous
"Thiamine deficiency alone generally produces peripheral neuritis and numbness as its most outstanding features" (Vernon H. Mark).
Sumera Saeed
Oct 10, 2023

FAQs

What does 'outstanding' mean?

'Outstanding' means exceptionally good or standing out significantly from the rest.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2023

Can 'excellent' and 'outstanding' be used interchangeably?

They can be used similarly, but 'outstanding' often implies a higher level of distinction.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 25, 2023

What does 'excellent' mean?

'Excellent' means very good or of a very high quality.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 25, 2023

Is 'excellent' the highest compliment?

'Excellent' is a high compliment, but 'outstanding' often suggests a higher level of praise.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 25, 2023

Is 'outstanding' always positive?

Mostly, yes, but it can also mean unresolved or unpaid, as in 'outstanding bills.'
Harlon Moss
Nov 25, 2023

What is an example of 'excellent' work?

An error-free report delivered on time is an example of excellent work.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 25, 2023

Does 'outstanding' mean unique?

'Outstanding' can imply uniqueness, especially if the distinction is due to rare qualities.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 25, 2023

What's an 'outstanding' feature in a product?

A feature that significantly enhances the product’s usefulness or appeal is outstanding.
Janet White
Nov 25, 2023

How do I use 'excellent' in a sentence?

"The service at the hotel was excellent."
Harlon Moss
Nov 25, 2023

Can a student be 'outstanding' in a regular class?

Yes, if they demonstrate exceptional qualities or achievements within that class.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 25, 2023

Does 'excellent' imply perfection?

Not necessarily; it implies a very high standard but not absolute perfection.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 25, 2023

Are 'excellent' and 'outstanding' subjective?

Yes, the use of 'excellent' and 'outstanding' can be subjective and dependent on personal standards.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 25, 2023

Is 'outstanding' a common grade in education?

'Outstanding' is sometimes used as a grade in education to indicate exceptional performance.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 25, 2023

Can 'outstanding' refer to debts?

Yes, 'outstanding' can refer to debts that are yet to be paid.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 25, 2023

Can a product be 'outstanding'?

Yes, if it is exceptionally better than similar products in the market.
Janet White
Nov 25, 2023

Can services be 'excellent' or 'outstanding'?

Yes, services can be described as either, depending on their quality and distinction.
Harlon Moss
Nov 25, 2023

What is an example of 'outstanding' work?

A report that provides groundbreaking insights in addition to being error-free is outstanding.
Harlon Moss
Nov 25, 2023

Is 'excellent' used in formal evaluations?

Yes, 'excellent' is often used in formal evaluations to denote high achievement.
Harlon Moss
Nov 25, 2023

How do I use 'outstanding' in a sentence?

"Her academic achievements are outstanding."
Aimie Carlson
Nov 25, 2023

Can something be 'excellent' but not 'outstanding'?

Yes, it can be of high quality ('excellent') without being notably superior to others ('outstanding').
Sumera Saeed
Nov 25, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Edited by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.

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