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 The Kook princess turned new Pogue stole viewers hearts, thanks in large part to the exceptional performance put on by Madelyn. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, ""Outer Banks" Star Madelyn Cline Says Trouble Will Be Coming for Sarah and John B in Season 2," 6 May 2020 Cascapera was exceptional at times as a freshman while Green has yet to play in two seasons, first redshirting then due to injury. Arizona Republic, "ASU soccer seeking quick turnaround from Pac-12 last place finish," 23 Apr. 2020 Its views of Mount Vesuvius and the Bay of Naples, lush gardens, luxurious suites, and exceptional service have attracted artists, monarchs, and celebrities such as Sophia Loren, Marilyn Monroe, and Luciano Pavarotti over the years. Patricia Doherty, Travel + Leisure, "The Best Places to Travel in June," 13 Mar. 2020 Everyone from the Kardashians to Bruce Willis has given their best effort — but there is a certain group of stars who’ve given exceptional performances on the mound. Diane J. Cho, PEOPLE.com, "The 16 Greatest Celebrity First Pitches of All Time," 24 Oct. 2019 Nevertheless, every member of the Blades lineup - including Henderson - can be proud of their efforts on Saturday, with their defensive leader exceptional in the heart of the backline. SI.com, "Sheffield United 0-1 Liverpool: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Goalkeeping Howler Hands Reds Victory," 28 Sep. 2019 The club remains steadfast in its mission to deliver an exceptional on-field product, across all age levels, that mirrors the style of play, culture and core values of Rising FCs first-team. Rob Kleifield, azcentral, "Shifting landscape of developmental soccer positions Phoenix Rising FC to be Arizona leader," 2 May 2020 The exceptional rate of warming is largely driven by a loss of nearby sea ice in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, which is itself tied to climate change. Matthew Cappucci, Anchorage Daily News, "Utqiagvik just recorded its first record low temperature in 13 years," 1 May 2020 Directed by Jason Hehir, who has directed several episodes of ESPN’s 30 for 30 as well as the exceptional Andre the Giant documentary, this weaves together stories told through present day retrospectives, and primary sources. Dave Clark, Cincinnati.com, "Guest TML: Jacksonville Jaguars or New England Patriots for Andy Dalton?," 1 May 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

20 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Exceptional.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exceptional. Accessed 2 Jun. 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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