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

Look for exceptional values right under your nose and cultivate an attitude of gratitude. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive.com, "Horoscope for July 12, 2019: Libra, keep your focus on your own life; Capricorn, put business matters on the back burner," 12 July 2019 Just don’t miss Neil’s exceptional breakfast sausage. 13. Bon Appétit, "There are restaurant lists with rankings. And there are restaurant lists with purpose. This is the latter.," 9 July 2019 Louisville has a chance to improve their pitching this season with a few exceptional players on the mound and strong bats giving them hope to change their fortune. Robert Rimpson, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville Bats looking to fix pitching woes to match their potent offense," 8 July 2019 But Ms Lavelle is one of a handful of exceptional youngsters, along with Lindsey Horan (another playmaker) and Mallory Pugh (a lethal striker) who could torment defenders for years to come. J.t., The Economist, "America’s victorious World Cup team may be its best ever," 8 July 2019 Olivieri led Tompkins to their second UIL Class 6A state final in three seasons during an exceptional 27-1-0 campaign. Jack Marrion, Houston Chronicle, "Area soccer stars selected for inaugural Allstate All-America Cup," 8 July 2019 Kamara has been an exceptional player for the Rapids, creating chances, getting into dangerous spots and generally making opposing teams have to deal with him or suffer the consequences. Mark Goodman, The Denver Post, "Colorado Rapids midseason awards: Best save, MVP, biggest dud and more," 4 July 2019 French Provincial furniture paired with minimalist abstract art and sweeping views of the Mediterranean make this unpretentious hotel exceptional. Laurel Benedum, ELLE Decor, "Here's How to Recreate the Look of These 5 Dreamy Hotel Interiors," 3 July 2019 The Pistons, your Pistons, added three-time All-Star Mark Aguirre, midway through the 1988-89 season, to a team with three future Hall of Famers and a handful of exceptional role players (and Bill Laimbeer). Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press, "Golden State Warriors just copying the path of past NBA champs," 5 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

16 Jul 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).


characterized by aphorism

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