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

Other Words from exceptional

exceptionality \ ik-​ˌsep-​shə-​ˈna-​lə-​tē How to pronounce exceptional (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
Recent Examples on the Web Ohio’s worst drought season recorded by the Drought Monitor was from July to October in 2000, when the entire state was at least abnormally dry, but much was in extreme or exceptional drought. Zachary Smith, cleveland, 28 July 2022 As of last Tuesday, 85 percent of New Mexico was under severe, extreme or exceptional drought conditions, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Margaret Osborne, Smithsonian Magazine, 27 July 2022 In total, 74% of nine Western states face some level of drought with 35% of the area in a state of extreme or exceptional drought, according to NASA. Marlene Lenthang, NBC News, 25 July 2022 But the distance and age are exceptional—these billions of stars formed within a few hundred million years of the Big Bang. John Timmer, Ars Technica, 22 July 2022 The quality of each of the diamonds extracted is exceptional, ranging from Flawless to Internally Flawless, which is the highest purity standard possible. Tiziana Cardini, Vogue, 19 July 2022 The drought has progressively gotten worse through the fall, winter and spring and now 97% of the state is experiencing drought conditions -- with 45% in extreme or exceptional drought, which are the highest two levels. Jennifer Gray, CNN, 11 July 2022 About 97% of the state is now under severe, extreme or exceptional drought conditions, the three worst categories under the U.S. Drought Monitor. Hayley Smith, Los Angeles Times, 8 July 2022 Though John’s teammates never earned a moniker àla the E Street Band, these exceptional players have been an integral part of his live shows. Melissa Ruggieri, USA TODAY, 16 July 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of exceptional

1787, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of exceptional was in 1787

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Last Updated

1 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Exceptional.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exceptional. Accessed 13 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for exceptional


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

More from Merriam-Webster on exceptional

Nglish: Translation of exceptional for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of exceptional for Arabic Speakers


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