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 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

According to Windows Central, Microsoft is preparing to unveil a cross-platform SDK (or XDK) at the Game Developers Conference in March at a special session. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft reportedly wants to use Xbox Live to support cross-platform games like Fortnite," 4 Feb. 2019 People keep a special place in their heart for romantic comedies. Vogue, "The 55 Best Romantic Comedies of All Time," 1 Feb. 2019 Victoria and Vicky Vicky was widely considered Albert's favorite child, but there is no doubt that the Princess Royal held a special place in both of her parents' hearts. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "What Was Queen Victoria Like as a Mother?," 13 Jan. 2019 This campaign holds a very special place in the history of this country. Stavros Agorakis, Vox, "“I’m so fucking proud of you guys”: watch Beto O’Rourke’s emotional concession speech," 7 Nov. 2018 While highly impractical, these tiny purses are dainty and cute for special occasions. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "5 Handbag Trends to Keep Your Eyes on in 2019," 22 Jan. 2019 Until now, GeForce GPUs only worked with Nvidia’s rival G-Sync monitors, which require special hardware and thus cost much more money. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "6 important CES 2019 reveals and trends that PC enthusiasts need to know about," 11 Jan. 2019 Even more special because this dress was named after her! Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Black Panther’s Lupita Nyong'o & Danai Gurira Stunned at the BAFTA Tea Party in Los Angeles," 6 Jan. 2019 Each episode of the Netflix show will be based on one of the singer's iconic hits, similar to her 2015 NBC special, Coat of Many Colors. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "Kimberly Williams-Paisley and Julianne Hough Will Star in Dolly Parton's Netflix Series," 31 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The new trailer for the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina holiday special is here and things are getting darker than ever now that Sabrina is a full witch. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Everything We Know About the "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina" Holiday Special," 5 Dec. 2018 Ragland was seen hanging out with Oprah, prompting speculation that a TV special was in the works. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "The Real Reason Oprah Sent Meghan Markle's Mom, Doria Ragland, a Basket of Fruit," 12 June 2018 Also, the Friday lunch special is prime rib at Lonesome Dove. Bud Kennedy, star-telegram, "Where to go for prime rib? An old favorite has a 2-for-$80 special," 7 June 2018 From specialty chocolates and heavenly candles to high-end headphones and glam accessories, there's something for everyone in this holiday edit. 'Tis the season for getting together — and looking extra-special doing so. Nicola Fumo, Harper's BAZAAR, "Thoughtful Gifts For Everyone On Your List," 12 Dec. 2018 Start with a bunch of mezze like hummus, spanakopita, and grape leaves; for entrées, try one of the fresh catches on the blackboard specials. Condé Nast Traveler, "3 Best Day Trips from Houston," 12 Oct. 2018 That would mean a Djoko-Fed showdown in the quarters—an early-bird special for a matchup that is final-worthy. Jason Gay, WSJ, "Fun Anarchy at the 2018 U.S. Open," 26 Aug. 2018 Lynne also worked on TV specials for performers from a variety of musical genres, including Ray Charles, Perry Como, Sammy Davis Jr., Ringo Starr, Carol Channing and Shelley Winters. Nardine Saad, latimes.com, "Gillian Lynne, the energetic ballerina who choreographed 'Cats' and 'Phantom of the Opera,' dies at 92," 2 July 2018 Little Havana Little Havana will be roasting a pig and will have drink specials, plus $3 off regular tacos until 10 p.m. 1325 Key Highway. Chris Kaltenbach, baltimoresun.com, "Where to find the best view of Baltimore's Fourth of July fireworks," 25 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

13 Feb 2019

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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