He wouldn't talk about work, except to say that he was busy.
2used to give the reason why something was not done or did not happen
Liz would have run, except that she didn't want to appear to be in a hurry.
3spokenused to mention a fact that makes what you have just said seem less true
I have earrings just like those, except they're blue
A date book would make a great gift, except that a lot of people already have one.
WORD CHOICE: WORD CHOICE: except, besides, apart from, unlessexceptmeans 'not including' or 'but not'• They invited everyone except Julie.besidesmeans 'in addition to'• Besides Italy (NOT except Italy), I would like to visit France and Spain.apart fromcan be used with either meaning• I ate everything apart from (OR except) the soup. • What do you like doing apart from (OR besides) swimming?except is not used to introduce another clause. Use unless or except if, except when, except while, except that• We won't go unless you really want to (NOT except you really want to). • I cycle to work, except when it rains (NOT except it rains). In spoken English, people sometimes leave out 'that'• The play went well, except (that) a few people forgot their lines.
Definition from the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English Advanced Learner's Dictionary.