ex·​cep·​tion·​al | \ ik-ˈsep-shnəl How to pronounce exceptional (audio) , -shə-nᵊl\

Definition of exceptional

1 : forming an exception : rare an exceptional number of rainy days
2 : better than average : superior exceptional skill
3 : deviating from the norm: such as
a : having above or below average intelligence
b : physically disabled

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Other Words from exceptional

exceptionality \ ik-​ˌsep-​shə-​ˈna-​lə-​tē How to pronounce exceptionality (audio) \ noun
exceptionalness noun

Examples of exceptional in a Sentence

We're bending the rules for this exceptional situation. an exceptional student in math The seafood dishes at this restaurant are exceptional. a separate school for exceptional children
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Recent Examples on the Web

The real story is the exceptional level of religious ignorance by those calling this a cult. Fox News, "Unions brace for fallout from SCOTUS's Janus decision," 8 July 2018 Their receiving group is exceptional, led by Kyle Ford and tight ends Ethan Rae and Elijah Mojarro. Eric Sondheimer, latimes.com, "Ryan Hilinski continues to blossom into a star quarterback at Orange Lutheran," 7 July 2018 Although Belgium appears unlikely to have injured Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany ready for its opening match against Panama on June 18, the team will still field exceptional players on every line. CNN, ""We'll go there to try to win the World Cup,' says Belgium Eden Hazard.," 11 June 2018 But what has separated Rinne from his peers has been his exceptional performance level since Jan. 6. Kevin Allen, USA TODAY, "Predators' Pekka Rinne has become the Vezina Trophy favorite," 20 Mar. 2018 Service is exceptional, the accommodations are stylish and roomy, and the restaurant, Beck at Brown's is a real highlight. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "The Best Room At... Brown's Hotel," 8 Feb. 2019 Ed will be fondly remembered for compassion, his love of life, and his exceptional gardening skills. Hartford Courant, courant.com, "Edward Strong Wilson III," 6 June 2018 The program honors paraprofessionals who have demonstrated exceptional skill and dedication in the performance of his/her job, thereby earning the respect and admiration of students, teachers, administrators, co-workers, and parents. Courant Community, "Community News For The East Hartford Edition," 5 June 2018 According to the news release, Kerby has exceptional communication skills, and has worked with infants, children and adults. Staff Report, The Aegis, "Gabrielle Kerby named Ms. Bel Air, will lead town's annual July 4 celebration," 26 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'exceptional.' 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 exceptional

1787, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for exceptional

Last Updated

9 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for exceptional

The first known use of exceptional was in 1787

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More Definitions for exceptional



English Language Learners Definition of exceptional

: not usual : unusual or uncommon
: unusually good : much better than average
: mentally or physically disabled


ex·​cep·​tion·​al | \ ik-ˈsep-shə-nᵊl How to pronounce exceptional (audio) \

Kids Definition of exceptional

1 : being unusual an exceptional amount of rain
2 : better than average : superior

Other Words from exceptional

exceptionally adverb

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Comments on exceptional

What made you want to look up exceptional? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


an enemy or opponent

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