extraordinary

adjective
ex·​traor·​di·​nary | \ ik-ˈstrȯr-də-ˌner-ē How to pronounce extraordinary (audio) , ˌek-strə-ˈȯr- \

Definition of extraordinary

1a : going beyond what is usual, regular, or customary extraordinary powers
b : exceptional to a very marked extent extraordinary beauty
c of a financial transaction : nonrecurring
2 : employed for or sent on a special function or service an ambassador extraordinary

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Other Words from extraordinary

extraordinarily \ ik-​ˌstrȯr-​də-​ˈner-​ə-​lē How to pronounce extraordinary (audio) , ˌek-​strə-​ˌȯr-​ \ adverb
extraordinariness \ ik-​ˈstrȯr-​də-​ˌner-​ē-​nəs How to pronounce extraordinary (audio) , ˌek-​strə-​ˈȯr-​ \ noun

What is the difference between extraordinary and extra ordinary?

Prefixes can be tricky things, often carrying meanings that differ from what one might expect. Additionally, some prefixes are spelled like independent English words, yet may have meanings that are different from those words. Such is the case with the word extra and the prefix extra-.

The word extra is used as a noun, adjective, and an adverb. When used as a separate word, as in the sentence “It was an extra ordinary day,” “extra” is functioning as an adverb meaning “very.” An “extra ordinary day” is a day that is very ordinary. In contrast, the prefix extra- means “outside or beyond.” Attached to “ordinary,” in “It was an extraordinary day,” the meaning changes markedly, to “It was a day beyond ordinary.”

Examples of extraordinary in a Sentence

A polymer based on the elastic protein that enables fleas to perform their extraordinary jumping feats has been synthesized. The material … is, perhaps unsurprisingly, rubbery and highly resilient; indeed, some of its properties exceed those of a material used to make bouncy balls for the playground. — Rosamund Daw, Nature, 13 Oct. 2005 Jimi Hendrix is one of those extraordinary hubs of music where everybody lands at some point. Every musician passes through Hendrix International Airport eventually.  … He is the common denominator of every style of contemporary music. — John Mayer, Rolling Stone, 15 Apr. 2004 Like the eighteenth-century Scots, whose similar borderland situation stimulated an extraordinary renaissance in letters, natural science, and social science, the Americans' ambivalent identities led them to the interstices of metropolitan thought where were found new views and new approaches to the old. — Bernard Bailyn, To Begin the World Anew, 2003 Books can even have merits that are owed to their lack of literary quality: Agatha Christie's whodunits display an extraordinary ingenuity in their plotting, but the beauty of the puzzle requires cardboard characters and total implausibility in motives and reasons. — Richard Jenkyns, New Republic, 28 Jan. 2002 The researchers made an extraordinary discovery. The race is an extraordinary event.
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Recent Examples on the Web But even that wasn’t as extraordinary as what Curry’s done over the last three weeks, to the point where the Warriors — a team going nowhere this season — are once again the league’s can’t-miss attraction. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Steph Curry's hot streak more transcendent because Warriors feel so futile," 21 Apr. 2021 The endorphin rush and the dump that happens after the panic attack is so extraordinary. Emily Dixon, Marie Claire, "Amanda Seyfried Talked About Experiencing "Bizarre" Panic Attacks," 12 Apr. 2021 The endorphin rush and the dump that happens after the panic attack is so extraordinary. Glenn Garner, PEOPLE.com, "Amanda Seyfried Opens Up About 'Bizarre' Panic Attacks Caused by Fame: 'It Feels Like Life or Death'," 11 Apr. 2021 What was going on was quite extraordinary considering the tenor of the times. Tim Dahlberg, Star Tribune, "Column: Ping Pong Diplomacy resonates a half century later," 5 Apr. 2021 The government has never used the extraordinary power, regardless of which party has held the White House. Washington Post, "Trump gave drug companies a last-minute win on prescription prices. Democrats want Biden to roll it back.," 31 Mar. 2021 My staff is extraordinary at putting together scouting reports. Jeremy Price, The Indianapolis Star, "IU women's Elite Eight run is fitting, because make no mistake, these Hoosiers are elite," 28 Mar. 2021 What is so extraordinary about the songs in this particular last 12 months is that the lyrics have more meaning than ever before and that could never have been planned. David Browne, Rolling Stone, "Robert Fripp and Toyah Willcox on Their Viral Quarantine Videos: ‘We’re in This With You’," 24 Mar. 2021 Having developed fan bases in the millions, some influencers exerted extraordinary power by positioning themselves as beauty critics. New York Times, "The Beauty of 78.5 Million Followers," 23 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'extraordinary.' 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 extraordinary

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for extraordinary

Middle English extraordinarie, from Latin extraordinarius, from extra ordinem out of course, from extra + ordinem, accusative of ordin-, ordo order

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Time Traveler for extraordinary

Time Traveler

The first known use of extraordinary was in the 15th century

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Statistics for extraordinary

Last Updated

30 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Extraordinary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/extraordinary. Accessed 11 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for extraordinary

extraordinary

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of extraordinary

: very unusual : very different from what is normal or ordinary
: extremely good or impressive

extraordinary

adjective
ex·​traor·​di·​nary | \ ik-ˈstrȯr-də-ˌner-ē How to pronounce extraordinary (audio) , ˌek-strə-ˈȯr- \

Kids Definition of extraordinary

: so unusual as to be remarkable She has extraordinary talent.

Other Words from extraordinary

extraordinarily \ ik-​ˌstrȯr-​də-​ˈner-​ə-​lē , ˌek-​strə-​ˌȯr-​də-​ˈner-​ \ adverb

extraordinary

adjective
ex·​tra·​or·​di·​nary | \ ek-ˈstrȯr-də-ˌner-ē, ˌek-strə-ˈȯr- How to pronounce extraordinary (audio) \

Legal Definition of extraordinary

1a : going beyond what is usual, regular, or customary specifically : of, relating to, or having the nature of a proceeding or action not normally required by law or not prescribed for the regular administration of law an extraordinary session of the legislature granted extraordinary relief — compare ordinary
b : of or relating to a financial transaction that is not expected to be repeated an extraordinary charge against earnings an extraordinary gain
2 : employed for or sent on a special function or service an ambassador extraordinary

Comments on extraordinary

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