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 extraordinarily (audio) , ˌek-​strə-​ˌȯr-​ \ adverb
extraordinariness \ ik-​ˈstrȯr-​də-​ˌner-​ē-​nəs How to pronounce extraordinariness (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

Awkwafina, a comedian and rapper best known for ebullient supporting turns in blockbusters such as Ocean’s 8 and Crazy Rich Asians, is extraordinary in this against-type role. David Sims, The Atlantic, "The Farewell Is a Gorgeous Tale of Family and Mortality," 10 July 2019 Joan's love and devotion to her family was extraordinary. sun-sentinel.com, "Deaths in South Florida: 7/9," 9 July 2019 From a young age, Cameron Boyce dreamed of sharing his extraordinary artistic talents with the world. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, "Cameron Boyce, Disney Channel star of Descendants, dies at 20," 7 July 2019 The country has also taken some extraordinary steps, like postponing the national middle school exams, known as brevet. Annabelle Timsit, Quartz, "Photos: Paris sizzles in France’s hottest week in more than 15 years," 26 June 2019 This American Life makes extraordinary our ordinary lives, and makes true crime out of otherwise unknown stories. Rebecca Farley, refinery29.com, "These Podcasts Will Satisfy Your Craving For Making A Murderer," 15 June 2019 And this touring production of the Broadway hit captures each emotion, each beat of this extraordinary story, with crystal-clear clarity. Matthew J. Palm, orlandosentinel.com, "'Come From Away:’ Amazing show closes out Broadway season in Orlando | Review," 11 June 2019 Now think of that in terms of someone who is taking extraordinary steps to develop a potentially billion-dollar real estate investment not in any foreign country, but in Russia. Andrea Bernstein, ProPublica, "“Trump, Inc.” and Former FBI Deputy Chief Andrew McCabe Compare Notes," 29 May 2019 Barring extraordinary circumstances, unaccompanied migrant children must be transferred out of CBP facilities and into ORR custody for longer-term shelter within 72 hours of their apprehension at the border, according to U.S. laws and regulations. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "US returns 100 migrant children to overcrowded Texas camp," 25 June 2019

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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Statistics for extraordinary

Last Updated

13 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for extraordinary

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

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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

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Comments on extraordinary

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