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 The adjusted figure excludes special gains and charges on discrete tax items but also reflects some COVID-19 impacts. Patrick Kennedy, Star Tribune, "Coronavirus pandemic still hitting Ecolab results," 16 Feb. 2021 Ravn has developed a special process for flights to Saint Paul, which begins with verifying a negative COVID test when booking a flight and continues at multiple checkpoints during the journey. Anchorage Daily News, "‘The New Balto’: Alaska’s fight against COVID-19 takes to the skies," 16 Feb. 2021 Coincidental or planned, the news of Meghan’s pregnancy is also a special tribute to Harry’s mother Princess Diana. Ineye Komonibo, refinery29.com, "The Subtle Way Meghan Markle & Prince Harry Paid Tribute To Princess Diana In Their Pregnancy Announcement," 16 Feb. 2021 Stewart said the cases should move forward through the appointment of a special prosecutor by Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr. Christian Boone, ajc, "Lawyers for Brooks family, college students want special prosecutor," 16 Feb. 2021 Rachael gets the group-date rose and a special post-group-date surprise. Ali Barthwell, Vulture, "We Need to Talk About The Bachelor," 16 Feb. 2021 Sharing exercise or tasks with a special someone could leave you both feeling refreshed, romantic and invigorated. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, "Horoscope for Feb. 16, 2021: Leo, spread your wings, get active; Libra, don’t let flirtation go further," 16 Feb. 2021 Warnock defeated Republican incumbent Sen. Kelly Loeffler in the special election in January, marking a sweeping blow for two legacy Republican senators. Kaelan Deese, Washington Examiner, "David Perdue files to run for 2022 Senate, exploring bid against Raphael Warnock," 15 Feb. 2021 Take advantage of our special offer at $1 for six months. Marlowe Alter, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Pistons, Blake Griffin looking to part ways through buyout or trade," 15 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The special is produced by Oprah’s Harpo Productions, and is being executive produced by the company’s executive vice president Terry Wood and Emmy Award-winning Tara Montgomery, who was supervising producer of The Oprah Winfrey Show for 25 seasons. Omid Scobie, Harper's BAZAAR, "Oprah Winfrey Set to Interview Duchess Meghan and Prince Harry in a TV Special," 15 Feb. 2021 The Cheese Board special features five cheeses, three meats, accompaniments, chocolate treats and a bottle of Rosé for $65. Elaine Rewolinski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "6 things to know in Milwaukee food and drink news this week," 8 Feb. 2021 Over 35 years ago, on the SNL Film Festival special, SCTV star Eugene Levy appeared alongside John Candy to plug the following week's episode with musical guests Hall & Oates. Andy Hoglund, EW.com, "Saturday Night Live recap: Dan Levy makes hosting debut for SNL's 900th episode," 7 Feb. 2021 During the recent seven-day special, Angelina’s donated $1 for each pepperoni pizza sold to the Ohio Restaurant Association’s Education Foundation. cleveland, "Reheating memories of past Chili Cook Offs: Olmsted Dates and Data," 7 Feb. 2021 In the second Euphoria special, this one centering on Jules — played by Hunter Schafer, who also co-wrote the story with director and creator Sam Levinson — the show unfortunately returns to its visually and narratively ostentatious roots. Angelica Jade Bastién, Vulture, "Euphoria Special Recap: Most Girls," 25 Jan. 2021 The inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on Wednesday was full of music, but no event was more jam-packed with A-list artists than the Celebrating America inaugural primetime special. Katie Atkinson, Billboard, "Katy Perry, Demi Lovato & More: Who Had Your Favorite 'Celebrating America' Performance?," 21 Jan. 2021 Biden changed into a chic black tux for Celebrating America, the TV special that toasted to the new administration. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Ashley Biden in a Tux Is the Inauguration Style Moment I Needed," 21 Jan. 2021 That time Bernie was VERY excited about Stein's Deli's Wednesday special. Katelyn Umholtz, NOLA.com, "Yes, Bernie Sanders -- and his mittens -- are showing up in New Orleans memes.," 21 Jan. 2021

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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Time Traveler for special

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for special

Last Updated

21 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Special.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/special. Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

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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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Comments on special

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