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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web To restore the ailing Pennsylvania Station, both Gov. Kathy Hochul and her predecessor endorsed an extraordinary reimagining of Midtown Manhattan with 10 super-tall skyscrapers — among the largest real estate projects in American history. New York Times, 9 May 2022 One other drug, known as semaglutide, has seen extraordinary results, and has even been recommended by NICE and approved by the FDA. Joshua Hawkins, BGR, 8 May 2022 The animated film tells the tale of an extraordinary family, the Madrigals, who live hidden in the mountains of Colombia in a magical house. oregonlive, 7 May 2022 The show, which runs through the end of May, features his signature large scale paintings that blend mundane scenes with the otherworldly and are inspired by the extraordinary things he's observed throughout a life spent on the road. Sofia Krusmark, The Arizona Republic, 7 May 2022 Accordingly, visitors can learn more about these extraordinary environs by hopping aboard a boat with tour guide and naturalist Jesus Cervantes, who has led the eco-tour program for five years and was originally trained by a local biologist. Perri Ormont Blumberg, Travel + Leisure, 7 May 2022 Thiel’s donation isn’t just extraordinary for its amount of zeroes, however. Zach Everson, Forbes, 6 May 2022 The Toledo Museum has built its extraordinary collection since 1901 thanks to the largesse of founders Edward Drummond Libbey and Florence Scott Libbey. Los Angeles Times, 6 May 2022 Equipment-leasing and finance companies have taken extraordinary steps to help customers throughout the pandemic. WSJ, 5 May 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near extraordinary

extraordinaire

extraordinary

extraordinary ray

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Last Updated

12 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Extraordinary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/extraordinary. Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for extraordinary

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

More from Merriam-Webster on extraordinary

Nglish: Translation of extraordinary for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of extraordinary for Arabic Speakers

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