extraordinary

adjective
ex·​traor·​di·​nary | \ ik-ˈstrȯr-də-ˌner-ē, 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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from extraordinary

extraordinarily \ ik-​ˌstrȯr-​də-​ˈner-​ə-​lē , ˌek-​strə-​ˌȯr-​ \ adverb
extraordinariness \ ik-​ˈstrȯr-​də-​ˌner-​ē-​nəs , 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

The results have been nothing short of extraordinary. Dylan Matthews, Vox, "Trump signed a good law this week. Yes, really.," 12 Dec. 2018 The Walking Dead used to be really interested in the impact of the extraordinary on the ordinary machinations of life, and for me, that was the show’s most compelling aspect. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "The Walking Dead’s midseason finale got the show back on track," 26 Nov. 2018 The signs need to be extraordinary and persistent in order to meet the criteria for this condition. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "13 Facts Everyone Should Know About Borderline Personality Disorder," 5 Dec. 2018 In one way, though, Louie has been extremely lucky: For his entire life, his mother has gone to extraordinary lengths to try to cure him. Shelley Levitt, Woman's Day, "These 4 Inspirational Women Went to Great Lengths for Their Kids," 4 Dec. 2018 For years, networks like E! and VH1 have made entire franchises off the extraordinary and glitzy lives of WAGS, who bond over luxury vacations, live in mansions and stand by their millionaire athletic partners. Amber Ferguson, The Seattle Times, "‘We’re the only ones who understand our situation’: Wives and girlfriends of men in wheelchairs form unique sisterhood," 10 Sep. 2018 But with his depiction of simple American scenes, Damon has already produced his most extraordinary work. David Martin, CBS News, "Veteran who lost both arms in Iraq discovers a talent for painting," 3 July 2018 Located on one of Pacific Gate’s highest floors, the Estate 01 floor plan offers some of the most extraordinary views in the building and is one of only four residences to share an entire floor. sandiegouniontribune.com, "Now’s the time to see Pacific Gate’s Estate Collection," 16 June 2018 With only the most talented artists still in the running, every performance on Monday night's live show was extraordinary. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "'The Voice' Frontrunner Kymberli Joye's Emotional Performance Left Everyone in Tears," 27 Nov. 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about extraordinary

Share extraordinary

Statistics for extraordinary

Last Updated

12 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for extraordinary

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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, 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- \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on extraordinary

What made you want to look up extraordinary? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

marked by shyness and lack of polish

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Liar, Liar Quiz

  • alt-5761dbe2ba986
  • Someone who pretends to be sick in order to avoid work is a:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!