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 Ritter said a vote on the bill might require a special session. Mark Pazniokas, courant.com, 7 June 2021 But the bill will undoubtedly pass in the special session that Republican Gov. Greg Abbott plans to convene. Steve Chapman Chicago Tribune, Star Tribune, 7 June 2021 Holcomb and some legal experts maintain the state constitution only allows the governor to call the Legislature into special session after its annual session ends. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 7 June 2021 Abbott has not set a date for the special session dealing with voting. Fredreka Schouten, CNN, 6 June 2021 Governor Greg Abbott has promised to call a special session of the legislature to reintroduce it. Sue Halpern, The New Yorker, 6 June 2021 The door Nearman opened to demonstrators was on the west side of the Capitol, easily accessible from the House floor where Nearman’s colleagues were debating rules for the one-day Dec. 21 special session as the Republican lawmaker went outside. oregonlive, 4 June 2021 Even if the walkout were successful, Gov. Greg Abbott could immediately call a special session, and Republicans could bring back an even more restrictive voting bill. Cayla Harris, San Antonio Express-News, 3 June 2021 Jerry Clark, a hobby stock champion who raced for many seasons at Raceway, will never forget how Adams made his first feature race victory in 1974 even more special. Tony Baranek, chicagotribune.com, 2 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The LaGrange Quarry, Falling Rock Park is a Kentucky special. Sarah Brookbank, The Enquirer, 9 June 2021 Though the series was nixed, the pilot aired as a Halloween special in 2012. Althea Legaspi, Rolling Stone, 8 June 2021 The show, which was one of Broadway’s hottest tickets, originally ran from October 2017 to December 2018 before it was filmed as a Netflix special. Devon Ivie, Vulture, 7 June 2021 While shooting a meta Netflix special throughout quarantine, Bo Burnham wondered how essential a role his humor could possibly play in a fraught time. Washington Post, 5 June 2021 The ninety-minute show, which Burnham wrote and directed, is in no way a traditional comedy special, in which a person tells jokes while standing in front of an audience. Rachel Syme, The New Yorker, 5 June 2021 Hit up DaJen Eats, where Ross will be serving up some version of jerk BBQ jackfruit as a special this week. Amy Drew Thompson, orlandosentinel.com, 25 May 2021 Shooting for the documentary, no doubt planned far in advance as a straightforward anniversary special, was underway when the necessary closures came. Los Angeles Times, 20 May 2021 This is a reoccurring special every Monday through May 24, according to Krispy Kreme. Teresa Velasco, San Antonio Express-News, 17 May 2021

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

9 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Special.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/special. Accessed 13 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for special

special

adjective

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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