special

adjective
spe·​cial | \ ˈspe-shəl How to pronounce special (audio) \

Definition of special

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : distinguished by some unusual quality especially : being in some way superior our special blend
2 : held in particular esteem a special friend
3a : readily distinguishable from others of the same category : unique they set it apart as a special day of thanksgiving
b : of, relating to, or constituting a species : specific
4 : being other than the usual : additional, extra
5 : designed for a particular purpose or occasion

special

noun

Definition of special (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : one that is used for a special service or occasion caught the commuter special to work
2 : something (such as a television program) that is not part of a regular series
3 : a featured dish at a restaurant the specials of the day

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Other Words from special

Adjective

specialness noun

Synonyms for special

Synonyms: Adjective

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Choose the Right Synonym for special

Adjective

special, especial, specific, particular, individual mean of or relating to one thing or class. special stresses having a quality, character, identity, or use of its own. special ingredients especial may add implications of preeminence or preference. a matter of especial importance specific implies a quality or character distinguishing a kind or a species. children with specific nutritional needs particular stresses the distinctness of something as an individual. a ballet step of particular difficulty individual implies unequivocal reference to one of a class or group. valued each individual opinion

Examples of special in a Sentence

Adjective This is a special case and I want you to handle it personally. Only under special circumstances will you be allowed to retake the test. Your many years of service put you in a special category. Why should you receive any special treatment? It takes a special quality to do what he did. This is a very special occasion. Are you doing anything special over the holidays? We have a special guest tonight—the mayor. No one is more special to me than my wife. He always made her feel special. Noun a one-hour special on whales Today's lunch special is chili. The specials are on the board. They were having a special on paper towels so I stocked up.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Henrik Fisker’s eponymous car venture, for one, went public in October after merging with a special purpose acquisition company. Chris Bryant, Chron, "A $21 billion wager on who will build the Apple car," 11 Jan. 2021 In October 2019, only 31 special Bitcoin ATMs dotted the city. ExpressNews.com, "Express Briefing: San Antonio’s wealth of Bitcoin ATMs," 11 Jan. 2021 The query led Kondo to launch a special set of drawer organizers on her KonMari e-commerce site in 2019 and the reaction from her fans was immediate. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Marie Kondo’s 2021 Resolution? Getting You Organized," 11 Jan. 2021 The league and the players’ association met via conference call on Monday and a special Board of Governors meeting is set for Tuesday. Ann Killion, SFChronicle.com, "NBA opted to play with coronavirus fire and now it’s getting burned," 11 Jan. 2021 Victory Park Capital, based in Chicago, agreed to acquire Bakkt through the formation of a special-purpose acquisition company, according to a Monday news release. Andy Peters, ajc, "Loeffler’s old Bitcoin platform going public," 11 Jan. 2021 So, in 2014, following the birth of Prince George, William and Kate asked the Queen for special permission to all fly together for their tour of Australia. Stacey Leasca, Travel + Leisure, "The One Travel Rule Prince William and Kate Middleton Constantly Break," 10 Jan. 2021 Larger are the groups with medical conditions identified as being of special concern for the coronavirus. Rich Exner, cleveland, "Successfully targeting vaccines to vulnerable groups could make a big difference for Ohio; here are the numbers," 10 Jan. 2021 The existing design work is being paid for by the Corps under a special program that authorizes the agency to develop such initial proposals for projects considered of national importance. Mark Schleifstein, NOLA.com, "Corps proposes $2 billion, 30.6-mile Upper Barataria levee to protect from 100-year hurricane storm surges," 10 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In the special, the Sussexes get candid about their experiences from the past year, and share their hopes for a brighter 2021. Emily Dixon, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Reflect on 2020 in the Archewell Audio Holiday Special," 29 Dec. 2020 Also included in the Carey special is some new holiday Peanuts animation, in the classic style. Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times, "38 Christmas movies and specials to watch on TV this week," 21 Dec. 2020 Despite serving as the butt of many jokes, the disheveled 75-foot Norway spruce in Manhattan will still get its shine on during the 88th Annual Christmas in Rockefeller Center special. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "Christmas specials, ‘The Undoing’ top this week’s TV picks," 29 Nov. 2020 In the special, TayTay talks about the making of her chart-topping lockdown album Folklore, giving an insights into how it was pieced together, unbottling family grief and, yes, love. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "Swifties Are Loving Taylor Swift's 'Folklore' Film," 25 Nov. 2020 Carey's twins, Moroccan and Monroe, will also appear in the special. Marianne Garvey, CNN, "Mariah Carey's Christmas special will feature Ariana Grande and Jennifer Hudson," 18 Nov. 2020 Goldie Hawn, who co-stars with Russell in the Netflix special, said news of cinemas shuttering due to the economic downturn resulting from coronavirus restrictions has many in the industry searching for what comes next. Spencer Neale, Washington Examiner, "Kurt Russell bemoans political grasp on Hollywood," 18 Nov. 2020 The above pictured Pem America black-and-white floral comforter set is included in the special, and comes with a comforter and one to two shams, depending on your bedding size. Melissa Lee, USA TODAY, "Bedding sets are more than half off at Macy's right now with free shipping," 31 Oct. 2020 Mariah Carey blessed us with a Christmas TV special (and simultaneous whistle tones with Ariana Grande). Usa Today Staff, USA TODAY, "Good news in 2020? Yes, it's true! Here are 100 positive things that happened this year," 23 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'special.' 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 special

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1822, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for special

Adjective

Middle English, from Anglo-French or Latin; Anglo-French especial, from Latin specialis individual, particular, from species species

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Time Traveler for special

Time Traveler

The first known use of special was in the 14th century

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Statistics for special

Last Updated

16 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Special.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/special. Accessed 25 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for special

special

adjective
How to pronounce special (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of special

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: different from what is normal or usual especially : unusual in a good way : better or more important than others
: especially important or loved
: more than is usual

special

noun

English Language Learners Definition of special (Entry 2 of 2)

: a television or radio program that is not part of a regular series
: a meal that is not on a restaurant's usual menu

special

adjective
spe·​cial | \ ˈspe-shəl How to pronounce special (audio) \

Kids Definition of special

1 : unusual and better in some way : extraordinary a special occasion To an outsider, it wouldn't sound all that special. But to the ears of a Pickwell kid, it was magic.— Jerry Spinelli, Maniac Magee
2 : liked very well a special friend
3 : different from others : unique a special case
4 : extra entry 1 a special edition
5 : meant for a particular purpose or occasion a special diet

Other Words from special

specially adverb

special

adjective
spe·​cial

Legal Definition of special

1 : distinguished by some unusual quality
2 : relating to a single thing or class of things : having an individual character or trait owed them a special duty not owed to the public at large
3a : supplemental to the regular
b : assigned or provided to meet a need not covered under established procedures
4 : designed or selected for a particular purpose, occasion, or other end family courts are courts of limited and special jurisdictionCleveland v. Cleveland, 559 P.2d 744 (1977)
5 : containing particulars and details a special pleading

Other Words from special

specially adverb

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Comments on special

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