ex·​cep·​tion·​al ik-ˈsep-sh(ə-)nəl How to pronounce exceptional (audio)
: forming an exception : rare
an exceptional number of rainy days
: better than average : superior
exceptional skill
: deviating from the norm: such as
: having above or below average intelligence
: physically disabled
exceptionality 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 Her Max Libido Booster Her Max is an exceptional vegan libido supplement that is free of gluten. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 6 Apr. 2024 Of the millions of women who performed exceptional service during the war, just dozens have survived long enough to see their work recognized with one of the nation's highest honors. Michelle Miller, CBS News, 6 Apr. 2024 See all Example Sentences for exceptional 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'exceptional.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1787, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of exceptional was in 1787

Dictionary Entries Near exceptional

Cite this Entry

“Exceptional.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exceptional. Accessed 19 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


ex·​cep·​tion·​al ik-ˈsep-shnəl How to pronounce exceptional (audio)
: forming an exception : being unusual
an exceptional amount of rain
: better than average : superior
an exceptional student in math
exceptionalness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on exceptional

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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