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 And Jenny Slate is about to do that in her first ever comedy special. Sydney Bucksbaum, EW.com, "Jenny Slate to face Stage Fright in first stand-up comedy special at Netflix," 16 Sep. 2019 Almejas tatemadas are special to Loreto, approximately a six-hour drive north from the tourist hotspot of Los Cabos. Fortune, "Charred Chocolate Clams: The Secrets of Baja’s Signature Dish," 14 Sep. 2019 Tebow’s college experience was undeniably special and he’s completely justified in relishing everything about it. Los Angeles Times, "Tim Tebow really, really doesn’t want college athletes getting paid," 13 Sep. 2019 The brewing community in Loveland did something special for this year’s Oktoberfest. Sarah Kuta, The Know, "The ultimate guide to Oktoberfest in Colorado, 2019 edition," 13 Sep. 2019 If the connection to your provider (hairdresser, yoga instructor, nanny, etc.) was special, staying in touch socially, perhaps through Facebook, can ease the sadness. Washington Post, "How to cope when the business or service provider you rely on goes out of business," 12 Sep. 2019 But the discovery of water vapor and clouds confirms expectations that the Earth isn't necessarily special in having water at a distance from its star where that water could be liquid. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "First water detected in the atmosphere of a habitable-zone planet," 12 Sep. 2019 Finding water vapor is great, but what is so special about K2-18 b is that our models suggest parts of its atmosphere have sufficient temperature and pressure for that vapor to form droplets of liquid water. Lee Billings, Scientific American, "Astronomers Find Water on an Exoplanet Twice the Size of Earth," 11 Sep. 2019 The Portland Tribune’s Jason Vondersmith says this Oregon defense could be special, and projects that the Ducks to blow out Montana. oregonlive, "That tremor in California might be the end of major college athletics as we know them: Issues & Answers," 10 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Closing out Tiffany Haddish’s Netflix comedy special is a comedian with a very familiar last name. Sydney Scott, Essence, "Comedian Chaunté Wayans Is More Than Her Last Name," 30 Aug. 2019 Barbecue cookout specials will be available all weekend long. San Diego Union-Tribune, "The Dish: 2019 guide to Labor Day weekend food and drink deals in San Diego County," 29 Aug. 2019 The off-menu special at Liuyishou in Vancouver, B.C., is just a taste of the high-end, high-impact hot pot fervor finding a sweet spot with diners in cities across North America. Naomi Tomky, Fortune, "High-End Hot Pot Heats Up in the U.S.," 11 Aug. 2019 In addition to Lear and Kimmel, the specials are executive produced by Will Ferrell, Justin Theroux and Lear's producing partner, Brent Miller. Whitney Friedlander, CNN, "Norman Lear and Jimmy Kimmel plan more 'Live in Front of a Studio Audience' specials," 5 Aug. 2019 The early-bird special is $3,399 per person ($100 discount) and a free Pilsen tour if the tour is booked by March 23. Elizabeth Marie Himchak, Pomerado News, "Chamber to offer three overseas trips in 2020," 3 Aug. 2019 Romance is on the rise, and plans made with someone special should be a priority. Eugenia Last, The Mercury News, "Horoscopes: Aug. 3, 2019," 3 Aug. 2019 The $25 unlimited ride wristband special will be available from 12-11 p.m. Sunday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. The last day of the fair is a one for classic car fans. Jenny Whidden, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "From contests to deals, here's everything you need to know about the 177th Waukesha County Fair," 16 July 2019 Correction posted October 22, 2016 The original story mistakenly reported that Peanuts TV specials are available on Netflix. The Christian Science Monitor, "Corrections," 4 Mar. 2019

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

6 Nov 2019

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
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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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

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