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

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 That could be an especial concern for people with long COVID, many of whose initial infections were asymptomatic or mild. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 16 Sep. 2021 The fact that Burgoyne stayed here on his trip back to London makes this house of especial historical interest. Laura Euler For, Robb Report, 16 Sep. 2021 But they were pursued with especial vigor: the Fifth Republic, under Debré, became an even more technocratic and administrative one than France had had before—which is saying something. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, 12 Aug. 2021 The show had especial significance to the American military community. David W. Blight, The New Yorker, 9 June 2021 Conservatives, confronting the conundrum of woke capitalism, have had especial reason to consider this adage of late. Jack Butler, National Review, 1 May 2021 For those familiar with the greater Boston area, the book is an especial treat, as many of her examples include familiar landmarks. Michael P. H. Stanley, National Review, 20 Mar. 2021 The Giants have been paying attention to the former Blue Jays starter all off season and took especial notice last week, when Sanchez hit 98 mph in a bullpen session. Susan Slusser, San Francisco Chronicle, 16 Feb. 2021 One of Wallace’s neighbors takes especial pride in having the biggest and most prominently displayed American flag on their street. Michael Washburn, National Review, 10 Sep. 2020 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for especial

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

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Cite this Entry

“Especial.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for especial


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

More from Merriam-Webster on especial

Nglish: Translation of especial for Spanish Speakers


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