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 Hamilton County Board of Elections will use the Aug. 4 special election as a trial run for November. Scott Wartman, The Enquirer, "How did the first in-person voting go during the pandemic? So far, so good, voters and poll workers say," 4 Aug. 2020 That appointment process was fraught with tension and nearly resulted in a special election that would’ve cost taxpayers about $1 million because the four politicians kept splitting their votes 2-2. Gustavo Solis, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Five candidates vie for two council seats in National City," 4 Aug. 2020 Obama also endorsed Democratic Assemblywoman Christy Smith, who lost to Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita (Los Angeles County), in a special election in May to fill out the remaining House term of Democrat Katie Hill, who resigned last year. Joe Garofoli, SFChronicle.com, "Barack Obama endorses eight California House candidates, Bay Area Democrat," 3 Aug. 2020 However, Jones beat Tlaib in the special election primary to serve the rest of Conyers' term and went to Congress for five weeks. Caitlin Conant, CBS News, "2020 Daily Trail Markers: Everything you need to know about mail-in voting," 3 Aug. 2020 He was convicted of assault for body-slamming a reporter on the eve of that special election. Naomi Lim, Washington Examiner, "Sleepy governor races give GOP chance to nab a seat," 2 Aug. 2020 Tiffany was elected this year in a special election that Evers put off for a time. Patrick Marley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin Republicans break with Trump over delaying November election," 30 July 2020 Many analysts feel Jones caught a break in his matchup against former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore in the 2017 special election, a rare statewide win for a Democrat over a Republican in Alabama politics. al, "Why the nation is watching Sessions vs. Coach," 12 July 2020 Democrat Takis Karantonis won the special election for a vacant Arlington County Board seat Tuesday, cementing the party’s control over top offices in the liberal Northern Virginia community. Patricia Sullivan, Washington Post, "Democrat wins Arlington race to fill empty seat on county board," 8 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In the half-hour special, children and their parents will have conversations about race and racial justice in a manner that’s appropriate for children. oregonlive, "PBS announces Amazon Prime Video documentary channel, specials about ‘The Black Church,‘ pioneering show ’Soul!,’ and more," 1 Aug. 2020 In the Thanksgiving Day special, Charlie Brown hosts his first Friendsgiving with Snoopy, Woodstock, Peppermint Patty, and the rest of the gang. Selena Barrientos, House Beautiful, "When Will A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving Be On?," 31 July 2020 The one-hour special, hosted by Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry, Gayle King and Brad Pitt, will be air on Tuesday, August 4 at 10 p.m ET/PT. CBS News, "Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry, Gayle King and Brad Pitt host "John Lewis: Celebrating a Hero" on CBS," 31 July 2020 The Sesame Workshop will debut a new, half-hour special, Elmo's Playdate: Scavenger Hunt, on August 6. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, "How to Watch 'Elmo's Playdate: Scavenger Hunt' — a New Half-Hour Special on HBO Max," 30 July 2020 In the special, Amge and her family visit the U.S. from India to explore career opportunities and soak up American culture, from bowling to shopping to eating pizza. Robyn Merrett, PEOPLE.com, "Meet Jyoti! TLC Introduces World's Smallest Woman and American Horror Story Star in New Special," 8 July 2020 Remember when Trista married Ryan Sutter in a wedding special? Marianne Garvey, CNN, "'The Bachelor' is reminiscing with 'The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons - Ever!'," 6 July 2020 In addition to his cameo in the CBS special, Pitt also made an address during Missouri State University's virtual graduation, as well as had a quick stint as a weatherman on John Krasinski's Some Good News Internet show. Bianca Betancourt, Harper's BAZAAR, "Brad Pitt Surprises a New Orleans–Based Essential Worker in the United We Sing CBS Special," 22 June 2020 Bette Midler, Kaitlyn Dever, Dan Levy, Sarah Paulson, and Issa Rae will star in the special. Annie Goldsmith, Town & Country, "HBO Announces Coastal Elites Starring Bette Midler, Sarah Paulson, Issa Rae, and Kaitlyn Dever," 22 June 2020

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

7 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Special.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/special. Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

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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

Comments on special

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