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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Right outside the door of my building have been extraordinary displays of racial hatred. John Timpane, Philly.com, "Nathaniel Popkin is a Philly author with a rare double play - two new books at once," 11 July 2018 And by the way, the qualification for some of these women are extraordinary and every bit as good as the male. Fox News, "Ex-sailor pardoned by Trump reacts to new Clinton probe documents," 3 July 2018 The conventional wisdom has it that President Trump’s summit with Kim Jong Un was extraordinary and naive. I. William Zartman, WSJ, "Kim Jong Un and the Art of the Asian Deal," 24 June 2018 Just being here in the armory, the Park Armory, and being in that space is so extraordinary and liberating because of the scale and the vastness of it. Danielle C. Belton, The Root, "Artist Nick Cave Teaches Me How to ‘Let Go’ at The Let Go," 19 June 2018 Those songs are really extraordinary and beautiful. Kt Hawbaker, Chicago Reader, "What were you watching, reading, or listening to when you first came out?," 15 June 2018 Susan was beautiful with an extraordinary style and had an impeccable eye for fashion. Sun-Sentinel.com, "Deaths in South Florida: 6/19," 19 June 2018 Refinery29's Anomaly takes an intimate look at extraordinary, one-of-a-kind individuals. refinery29.com, "Meet The 15-Year-Old Who Will Beat You To Space," 4 July 2018 Far from seeming extraordinary, men and women in capes, masks and electronic suits have now become avatars of the unimaginative and the commonplace — a development that Bird and his collaborators could hardly have anticipated. Justin Chang, latimes.com, "How the dazzling, overstuffed ‘Incredibles 2’ holds up a cracked mirror to present-day reality," 4 July 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.

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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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Last Updated

21 Sep 2018

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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 , 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

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