es·​pe·​cial | \ i-ˈspe-shəl How to pronounce especial (audio) \

Definition of especial

: being distinctive: such as
a : directed toward a particular individual, group, or end sent especial greetings to his son took especial care to speak clearly
b : of special note or importance : unusually great or significant a decision of especial relevance
c : highly distinctive or personal : peculiar had an especial dislike for music
d : close, intimate his especial crony
e : specific, particular had no especial destination in mind
in especial
: in particular

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Choose the Right Synonym for especial

special, especial, specific, particular, individual mean of or relating to one thing or class. special stresses having a quality, character, identity, or use of its own. special ingredients especial may add implications of preeminence or preference. a matter of especial importance specific implies a quality or character distinguishing a kind or a species. children with specific nutritional needs particular stresses the distinctness of something as an individual. a ballet step of particular difficulty individual implies unequivocal reference to one of a class or group. valued each individual opinion

Examples of especial in a Sentence

This is a matter of especial importance. a candidate who handled the stunning defeat with especial grace

Recent Examples on the Web

Yet, to my especial surprise, many of these downtrodden damsels weren’t crusading millennial activists fresh from campus indoctrination camps but women in their sixties from my own generation. Lionel Shriver, Harper's magazine, "Fifty-Fifty Follies," 10 June 2019 La demócrata Annette Taddeo ganó la elección especial por el Distrito 40 del Senado de la Florida. David Smiley, miamiherald, "Signs point to a Frank Artiles comeback campaign for the Florida Senate | Miami Herald," 11 May 2018 Thank you sweet for the quick ride Que dia especial! Charles Curtis, For The Win, "Tom Brady and Gisele are in Qatar riding camels," 17 Apr. 2018 Mr Pinker draws especial comfort from the decline of faith. The Economist, "A future perfectSteven Pinker’s case for optimism," 24 Feb. 2018 And the event has a growing following in China, where prestigious awards tend to command especial reverence, and where the local entertainment market continues to boom. Patrick Brzeski, The Hollywood Reporter, "STX Entertainment to Distribute Golden Globes in China (Exclusive)," 18 Dec. 2017 This was an especial gift since the Pirelli P Zero Corsa summer tires that work so admirably in sunny Lisbon were cold, hard and hydroplaning luridly in Wales. Dan Neil, WSJ, "Why the $285,000 McLaren 720S Is the Shape of Things to Come," 13 July 2017 The Proper Procedure and Other Stories is filled with such people — of no especial intelligence or virtue, self-absorbed, Many of Dalrymple’s characters are more inclined to do their worst than to do their best. Ian Tuttle, National Review, "The Welfare Culture and Its Discontents," 1 Aug. 2017 The Iron Age Theatre Company has had an especial sweet tooth for Shepard, having done The Buried Child, Simpatico, Fool for Love, Curse of the Staving Class, and The Tooth of Crime. John Timpane,, "Sam Shepard: Man of the theater; the theater of a man," 31 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'especial.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of especial

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for especial

Middle English, from Anglo-French — more at special

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Statistics for especial

Last Updated

18 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for especial

The first known use of especial was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for especial



English Language Learners Definition of especial

formal : more than usual


es·​pe·​cial | \ i-ˈspe-shəl How to pronounce especial (audio) \

Kids Definition of especial

: more than usual : special

Other Words from especial

especially adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on especial

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for especial

Spanish Central: Translation of especial

Nglish: Translation of especial for Spanish Speakers

Comments on especial

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