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 IScream Ice Cream’s success lies in an exceptional product and an outstanding guest experience. Essence, "The Build Your Legacy Contest Winners Have Been Announced!," 4 July 2020 These works of art call forth gratitude for the accomplishments and sacrifices of our exceptional fellow citizens who, despite their flaws, placed their virtues, their talents, and their lives in the service of our Nation. Daniel Chaitin, Washington Examiner, "Trump to establish National Garden of American Heroes," 3 July 2020 Despite office closures and other extreme conditions as a result of the pandemic, IRS employees have done some exceptional work. Michelle Singletary, Washington Post, "IRS says July 15 tax filing deadline won’t be extended," 2 July 2020 The NRP Group aims to create exceptional apartment communities for individuals and families, regardless of income. Yadi Rodriguez, cleveland, "The NRP Group is 3rd-place winner, midsize category: Top Workplaces 2020," 28 June 2020 Fueled by exceptional market volatility, an army of retailer traders and their no-fee apps, options trading is soaring, up 45% year-on-year, the Wall Street Journal reports. Bernhard Warner, Fortune, "Jumpy investors grapple with a dreaded record-high—in coronavirus cases," 25 June 2020 Liverpool is a club which has enjoyed much success, but nothing in its glorious past quite compares to the exceptional season this outstanding team has produced. Aimee Lewis, CNN, "Liverpool wins English Premier League for the first time in club's history," 25 June 2020 The exceptional reach of the tremors is due to what lies beneath the bustling metropolis: sediment. National Geographic, "Why the Oaxaca earthquake made buildings sway hundreds of miles away," 23 June 2020 The truth is that Brian is both exceptional and a type. Brian Barrett, Wired, "My Friend Was Struck by ALS. Here’s How He’s Fighting Back," 23 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for exceptional

Time Traveler

The first known use of exceptional was in 1787

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Statistics for exceptional

Last Updated

7 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Exceptional.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exceptional. Accessed 10 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for exceptional


How to pronounce exceptional (audio)

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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