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

alone, lone, one, one-off, only, singular, sole, solitary, sui generis, unique

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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

Lloyd wasn't the only special guest at the concert: Lopez's 11-year-old daughter, Emme Maribel Muñiz, joined her onstage to sing a duet, which earned a standing ovation from the audience. Mesfin Fekadu, Houston Chronicle, "Former Dash player celebrates World Cup win with lap dance from J. Lo," 13 July 2019 The special bristles with shame, indecision, anger, and guilt. Doreen St. Félix, The New Yorker, "The Productive Ambivalence of Aziz Ansari in His Comeback Netflix Special," 13 July 2019 Such has been the success of the podcast, his very own mini-festival, 'Crouchfest', was recently organised, featuring special guests such as Liam Gallagher. SI.com, "Peter Crouch: 9 of the Striker's Best Moments Following Retirement," 12 July 2019 Combs will hit the KFC Yum Center on Dec. 11, alongside special guests Morgan Wallen and Jameson Rodgers. Lucas Aulbach, The Courier-Journal, "Country music star Luke Combs is coming to Louisville later this year," 11 July 2019 Jerrod Neimann with Ken Peltier and special guests Brian Davis and Jon Stone outside Everett’s in Wasilla on July 17. Andrew Jensen, Anchorage Daily News, "Nashville hit-maker Jerrod Neimann returns to Alaska with 3 shows and a salute to troops," 10 July 2019 Saugatuck State Park beach-goers paused and pulled out their phones Saturday to capture a special guest that waded into the water with them. Emma Keith, Detroit Free Press, "Deer joins Lake Michigan tourists for a holiday weekend swim," 8 July 2019 At the British Summer Time Hyde Park festival where the singer was performing, a few special guests were spotted in the VIP section: none other than Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice! Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice Danced the Night Away at a Celine Dion Concert," 8 July 2019 New details about the official portraits released from the event suggest that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle handpicked two special guests to pay tribute to Harry's mother, the late Princess Diana, at the private ceremony. Halie Lesavage, Glamour, "Princess Diana's Sisters Played a Special Role in Archie's Christening," 6 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Slapstick comedies: 10256 Good finds: The Waterboy, RV, Christmas With the Cranks Stand-up comedy specials: 11559 Video Player is loading. Rachel E. Greenspan, Time, "These Are the Netflix Codes You Can Use to Take a Shortcut Straight to the Shows and Movies You Actually Want to Watch," 3 July 2019 Aziz Ansari is back with a brand-new comedy special. Maria Pasquini, PEOPLE.com, "Aziz Ansari Announces New Netflix Standup Special After Break from the Spotlight," 1 July 2019 Waterbar in Pacific Beach is hosting its Red, White & Tentacles Summertime Beach Party with food and drink specials designed for Independence Day. San Diego Union-Tribune, "The Dish: 34 places you can eat, drink and hang out this Independence Day," 27 June 2019 Happy hour: 4-6 p.m. Friday and Saturday with food and drink specials. Marc Bona, cleveland.com, "Good Company finds niche with well-made, affordable sandwiches," 20 June 2019 Includes food and drink specials, plus live music from The Pips. Chris Kaltenbach, baltimoresun.com, "Things to do in Baltimore this week: Dragon Boat Challenge, Chesapeake Crab, Wine & Beer Festival and more," 16 June 2019 The bar will have its usual breakfast menu available, plus food and drink specials for specific matches. Jamie Goldberg, oregonlive.com, "Where to watch the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Portland: Bars, pubs, food specials, more," 5 June 2019 Be on the lookout for free swag as well as food and drink specials. Lauren Delgado, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Where to eat, drink and watch the World Cup at the same time in Central Florida," 20 June 2018 June is Pride month with parades and festivities in major cities each weekend, plus food and beverage specials across the country. Usa Today Eats, USA TODAY, "Celebrate Pride with rainbow treats and drinks," 15 June 2018

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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Statistics for special

Last Updated

17 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for special

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

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on special

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for special

Spanish Central: Translation of special

Nglish: Translation of special for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of special for Arabic Speakers

Comments on special

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