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

Then, there’s her exceptional vision on the court, says Harnett, which allows her to anticipate plays and proactively move accordingly, rather than just react. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "Paralympian Mackenzie Soldan Is Making History in Wheelchair Tennis," 17 Apr. 2019 Lawmakers would have to take exceptional care with the details of legislation authorizing automatic continuing resolutions. William A. Galston, WSJ, "A Bipartisan Shutdown Solution," 22 Jan. 2019 Room for folks and their stuff is exceptional, as is the big guy’s ride and handling. Al Haas, Philly.com, "Redesigned after 10 years, new Buick Enclave is worth the wait," 28 June 2018 The exceptional care and concern demonstrated by all of the staff at Gladeview nursing home are greatly appreciated. Hartford Courant, courant.com, "Gladys Hanford," 20 June 2018 This collaborative program provides exceptional medical care for women and their unborn babies who have complications related to fetal abnormalities or difficult pregnancies. Trihealth, Cincinnati.com, "Cincinnati Fetal Center gives baby Remington a shot at life," 19 Mar. 2018 The Queen's Young Leader Awards, the annual ceremony in which Queen Elizabeth II recognizes exceptional young people who are transforming their communities, takes place Tuesday. Eileen Reslen, Town & Country, "How to Watch Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at the Queen's Young Leaders Awards," 26 June 2018 Boyd, a talented forward with an exceptional finishing ability, had opportunities to pursue playing collegiate soccer, but has chosen not to do so. Steve Millar, chicagotribune.com, "Girls soccer notes: High-scoring Karli Boyd eyes big finish to Providence career," 22 Apr. 2018 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

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

7 May 2019

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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

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