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

The FedAccount also could handle merchant processing for free between FedAccounts, something that businesses currently pay extraordinary amounts of money to credit card and debit card companies to do. Michael Taylor, San Antonio Express-News, "Re-envisioning basic banking," 6 July 2018 Sara Farmer, Kentucky medical board lawyer Her patients described her as a caring, conscientious and thorough doctor who spends an extraordinary amount of time with them and carefully monitors their health. Andrew Wolfson, The Courier-Journal, "'25 Again' doctor’s license on the line in attack on hormone therapy," 14 June 2018 The top-two primary featured an extraordinary amount of outside spending, with the largest donor being Sacramento housing developer Angelo Tsakopoulos, who donated more than $4.7 million to a super PAC supporting his daughter, Kounalakis. Joe Garofoli, San Francisco Chronicle, "California election results: Poizner leads for insurance post, Becerra for attorney general," 5 June 2018 Facebook and Google, which collect an extraordinary amount of personal data, have received particular scrutiny. Nitasha Tiku, WIRED, "How a New Era of Privacy Took Over Your Email Inbox," 24 May 2018 The rarity and severity of this NCAA policy makes this case unusual, but the results of Fulton’s own urine sample push it farther toward the extraordinary. Ross Dellenger, SI.com, "The Curious Case of Kristian Fulton: A Two-Year Ban, a Last-Ditch Appeal and a Spotlight on the NCAA," 13 June 2018 After all, few beauty moves can instantly catapult a look from everyday to extraordinary—see Kristen Stewart and her arctic buzzcut as one shining example. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "The Best Platinum Blondes of All Time, From Courtney Love to Kristen Stewart," 25 May 2018 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

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

2 Nov 2018

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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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