1

special

adjective spe·cial \ ˈspe-shəl \
Updated on: 13 Dec 2017

Definition of special

1 : distinguished by some unusual quality; especially : being in some way superior
  • our special blend
2 : held in particular esteem
  • a special friend
3 a : 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

specialness

noun

Examples of special in a Sentence

  1. This is a special case and I want you to handle it personally.

  2. Only under special circumstances will you be allowed to retake the test.

  3. Your many years of service put you in a special category.

  4. Why should you receive any special treatment?

  5. It takes a special quality to do what he did.

  6. This is a very special occasion.

  7. Are you doing anything special over the holidays?

  8. We have a special guest tonight—the mayor.

  9. No one is more special to me than my wife.

  10. He always made her feel special.

Recent Examples of special from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of special

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

Synonym Discussion of special

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

2

special

noun

Definition of special

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

Examples of special in a Sentence

  1. a one-hour special on whales

  2. Today's lunch special is chili.

  3. The specials are on the board.

  4. They were having a special on paper towels so I stocked up.

Recent Examples of special from the Web

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.

First Known Use of special

1822

Other Broadcasting Terms



SPECIAL Defined for English Language Learners

special

adjective

Definition of special for English Language Learners

  • : 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

Definition of special for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

special

adjective spe·cial \ ˈspe-shəl \

Definition of special for Students

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 : 1extra
  • a special edition
5 : meant for a particular purpose or occasion
  • a special diet

specially

adverb

Law Dictionary

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
3 a : 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 jurisdiction
  • Cleveland v. Cleveland, 559 P.2d 744 (1977)
5 : containing particulars and details
  • a special pleading

specially

adverb


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