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

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

The fight lasted 23 seconds before Graziolli shot Yatsko, according to security footage obtained by cleveland.com this week from the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office, which acted as the special prosecutor in the case. Adam Ferrise, cleveland.com, "How a bad joke at a bowling alley devolved into a deadly police-involved shooting in Cleveland’s University Circle," 9 Aug. 2019 Pakistan, which also claims the Kashmir region in full, on Thursday suspended a key train service with India over the change in Kashmir’s special status by New Delhi, as tensions between the two rivals soared. Fox News, "India forces arrest 500 in Kashmir as Pakistan suspends key train service to disputed region," 9 Aug. 2019 Milwaukee County Director of Elections Julietta Henry told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Friday its system is plugged in now because of a Tuesday special election for a seat on the Common Council. Lawrence Andrea, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin election officials consider lending new equipment to towns with outdated systems," 9 Aug. 2019 Article 370 is a constitutional provision that gave Jammu and Kashmir its special status. Fortune, "What is Article 370?," 8 Aug. 2019 Montoya then managed political newcomer Coda Rayo-Garza’s legislative campaign in a District 125 special election earlier this year. Dylan Mcguinness, ExpressNews.com, "Texas House race in San Antonio could have statewide implications as Democrats work to win majority," 8 Aug. 2019 The charges came as part of Michigan special prosecutor William Forsyth's investigation into how Nassar, the former MSU and USA Gymnastics doctor, was able to abuse more than 200 young girls and women over more than two decades. Elizabeth Joseph And Jason Hanna, CNN, "Larry Nassar's former boss at MSU gets a year in jail for misconduct and neglect of duty," 7 Aug. 2019 Students receive a stipend and, upon completion of the program, can compete for jobs with the Forest Service and other agencies with a special hiring status. Randy Wyrick, The Know, "The country’s top college for adventure is in Colorado, according to Elevation Outdoors," 7 Aug. 2019 Only a couple of hours before her demise, Swaraj had tweeted thanking Modi for his government’s move to revoke Jammu & Kashmir’s special status and bifurcate the restive state. Niharika Sharma, Quartz India, "Sushma Swaraj, India’s former foreign minister who reached out to people, has passed away," 7 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Toward the end of the peak travel season, there are specials on tours and excursions in and around the parks. Scott Mcmurren, Anchorage Daily News, "Don’t let summer slip away without exploring Alaska’s national parks," 10 Aug. 2019 According to the website, there are specials at Level 1. Samantha Incorvaia, azcentral, "Game on! Level 1 Arcade Bar coming to Heritage District in downtown Gilbert," 2 Aug. 2019 There will also be food specials that include $4 eggplant dip, $5 crackers and ricotta, $6 Sicilian bites, a $5 12-inch cheese pizza and more. Jess Fleming, Twin Cities, "St. Paul location of Black Sheep Pizza gets refresh that includes full bar," 25 July 2019 Political fragmentation and polarization look to be the specials of the day. Matthew Goodwin, WSJ, "Europe’s Populists Are Here to Stay," 14 June 2019 In celebration of the restaurant’s 40th anniversary and the business’ century milestone, Serrano’s is hosting special events, including $1 daily specials during the week of Sept. 16. Georgann Yara, azcentral, "Good food and family recipes serve up 40 years of success for Serrano’s Mexican Restaurants," 27 July 2019 The standup most recently released her comedy special titled Amy Schumer Growing on Netflix back in March. Rachel Yang, EW.com, "Amy Schumer's comedy series Love, Beth will land on Hulu in 2020," 26 July 2019 See above for 10 must-try happy hour specials to check out right now in Houston. Marcy De Luna, Houston Chronicle, "10 new happy hour deals to check out right now in Houston," 24 July 2019 Bring your friends for a fun evening with drink and appetizer specials and free plays. Kirby Adams, The Courier-Journal, "How you can party with puppies and kittens for a good cause in Louisville," 24 July 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

14 Aug 2019

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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 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

Comments on special

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