special

adjective
spe·​cial | \ˈspe-shəl \

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 & Antonyms for special

Synonyms: Adjective

beloved, cherished, darling, dear, fair-haired, favored, favorite, fond, loved, pet, precious, sweet, white-headed

Antonyms: Adjective

unbeloved

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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

Enjoy the special and delicious foods and festive meals that are the hallmark of the holiday season. Abby Langer, SELF, "4 Holiday Season Nutrition Myths You Should Ignore," 23 Nov. 2018 Joys, wishes, flaws, and fears are what make a sun sign special and unique. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "Each Zodiac Sign's Unique Personality Traits, Explained by an Astrologer," 28 Oct. 2018 Operating in the Arctic has special challenges for warships and carrier operations in particular. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "U.S. Carriers Are Operating in the Arctic Circle for the First Time in Decades," 22 Oct. 2018 But this year will be extra special, as viewers will also get a glimpse of her growing baby bump! Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "When Is Carrie Underwood's Baby Due?," 30 Sep. 2018 But for something special, book dinner at Landhaus Bacher, a family-run affair overseen for 30 years by matriarch-in-residence Lisl Wagner-Bacher. Sebastian Modak, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Best Way to Experience Austria's Wine Country Is By Bike," 7 Sep. 2018 The opinion didn’t address the question of whether Whitaker should step aside from overseeing the special counsel’s investigation into potential coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia. Eric Tucker, The Seattle Times, "Justice legal opinion backs Whitaker’s naming as acting AG," 14 Nov. 2018 Tesla’s Gigafactory deal, which could be worth $1.3 billion over 20 years, was debated during a special legislative session that lasted a few days. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Amazon HQ2 subsidies are deeply unpopular, but far from uncommon," 14 Nov. 2018 The special moment happened as Harry met fans at Auckland Viaduct Harbour on Tuesday. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Prince Harry Had Some Touching Advice For a 6-Year-Old Boy Who Lost His Mother," 31 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

These deals start today, November 18th, a few days before most Black Friday specials begin, and GameStop claims to have more discounts as the week proceeds, so be sure to check back to The Verge. Stefan Etienne, The Verge, "GameStop’s pre-Black Friday deals discount games, PS4 and Xbox One consoles, and accessories," 18 Nov. 2018 The 2019 Free Bird SV+ starts at $37,165 and now through November 30, 2018 there is a pre-order early bird special that gives you a $600 accessory credit; deliveries for 2019 will start in December. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Modular camper van sleeps two and hauls gear, asks $37K," 22 Oct. 2018 From there, dip into the specials menu, which features fresh catches of the day and creative dishes with unique hyper-seasonal ingredients, and the wine list, which offers a good selection of whites and reds by the glass and bottle. Condé Nast Traveler, "3 Best Day Trips from Houston," 12 Oct. 2018 Horwich, now 55, runs Jackie Gleason Enterprises, which still licenses the actor’s shows and specials. Stephanie Nolasco, Fox News, "Jackie Gleason 'embraced' lasting success on 'The Honeymooners,' never regretted playing Ralph Kramden," 6 Sep. 2018 Plus, some service providers offer packages for clients purchasing several sessions at once, so be sure to ask about any specials available. 13. Sam Escobar, Good Housekeeping, "Everything You Need to Know Before Trying Laser Hair Removal," 8 Aug. 2018 This isn’t just some cheesy line from an after-school special. Danielle Fox, Seventeen, "How to Become Instagram Famous," 24 July 2018 Or stream a new stand-up special from Jim Jefferies. Andrew R. Chow, New York Times, "What’s on TV Friday: ‘Operation Thai Cave Rescue’ and Jim Jefferies," 13 July 2018 The new Flight of the Conchords special is both a comeback special and greatest hits retrospective. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "4 new TV shows to try, from Halloween horror to the Flight of the Conchords," 5 Oct. 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

4 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

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 \

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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