un·​usu·​al | \ ˌən-ˈyü-zhə-wəl How to pronounce unusual (audio) , -zhəl; -ˈyüzh-wəl \

Definition of unusual

: not usual : uncommon, rare

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Other Words from unusual

unusually adverb
unusualness noun

Examples of unusual in a Sentence

It's not unusual for him to stay late at work. a scene of unusual beauty She has an unusual name.
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Recent Examples on the Web The review is unusual, particularly because Attorney General William Barr already had commissioned St. Louis US Attorney Jeff Jensen earlier this year to examine the handling of Flynn’s case. Matt Zapotosky, BostonGlobe.com, "FBI director orders internal review of Michael Flynn case," 22 May 2020 While this kind of immune response is unusual, further studies will be needed to determine whether and how prior exposure to common cold coronavirus might affect a person’s immune response to SARS-CoV-2 or to a COVID-19 vaccine. Popular Science, "People who’ve had COVID-19 show promising disease-fighting cells in their blood," 20 May 2020 Still, what's unusual this time is that unlike during previous bear markets, the S&P 500 has not re-tested its March 23 lows. Matt Egan, CNN, "Is the bear market over? Wall Street isn't so sure," 19 May 2020 The hearing was unusual in that a majority of the participants, including all four witnesses, were testifying remotely over video conference. Kate Cox, Ars Technica, "“More likely than not” a COVID-19 vaccine is possible, Fauci tells Senate," 12 May 2020 The debates were unusual Because the debates were conducted virtually and candidates were not displayed on the screen the entire time, candidates could have been in communication with campaign staff during the debates themselves. Kaitlin Lange, Indianapolis Star, "8 takeaways from Indiana 5th Congressional District Republican debate," 12 May 2020 Not long ago, such a rebuff in a reliably red state to a conservative outlet’s warnings of voter fraud would have been unusual. Jessica Huseman, ProPublica, "Ignoring Trump and Right-Wing Think Tanks, Red States Expand Vote by Mail," 12 May 2020 The legal maneuver is highly unusual, says Peter Morgan, an attorney at the Sierra Club. Michael J. Coren, Quartz, "Coal’s collapse could lead to a landscape of abandoned mines," 23 Apr. 2020 The size and speed of the removals is unusual, according to Peter Piatetsky, a former senior policy adviser for the U.S. Treasury and co-founder of Castellum. Dylan Tokar, WSJ, "Pakistan Removes Thousands of Names From Terrorist Watch List," 20 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'unusual.' 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 unusual

1579, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for unusual

Time Traveler

The first known use of unusual was in 1579

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Statistics for unusual

Last Updated

26 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Unusual.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unusual. Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for unusual


How to pronounce unusual (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of unusual

: not normal or usual
: different or strange in a way that attracts attention
: not commonly seen, heard, etc.


un·​usu·​al | \ ˌən-ˈyü-zhə-wəl How to pronounce unusual (audio) \

Kids Definition of unusual

: not done, found, used, experienced, or existing most of the time an unusual job an unusual odor

Other Words from unusual

unusually adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on unusual

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for unusual

Spanish Central: Translation of unusual

Nglish: Translation of unusual for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of unusual for Arabic Speakers

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