un·usu·al | \ˌən-ˈyü-zhə-wəl, -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

Something unusual happened in the latest Wall Street Journal ranking of top-performing U.S. mutual funds: Small-cap money managers completely dominated the contest. Suzanne Mcgee, WSJ, "Small-Stock Fund Managers Dominate the Battle for Highest Returns," 8 July 2018 But there was something else unusual about Fegley’s health plan that hadn’t caught his attention: Unions don’t usually sell their health plans through insurance brokers and the practice can be a red flag. Sarah Gantz, Philly.com, "Buyer beware: Inexpensive health plans often not what they seem," 22 June 2018 The Witch Who Came in From the Cold offers something unusual for a podcast: the ability to not only listen to the story, but to read it as well. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Magic creeps into the Cold War in podcast The Witch Who Came in From the Cold," 17 June 2018 Somehow, seeing the 6-foot-6, 310-pound Jones taking a spot in the backfield may provide a clue something unusual is about to occur. Blair Kerkhoff, kansascity, "After a 'kind of silent' year, Chris Jones is leading the Chiefs' new defensive players," 15 June 2018 Sometime in March, the students at Ascendance Studio in Doral noticed something unusual. Sole Sastre, miamiherald, "Google showcases Doral dance studio in online commercial," 15 June 2018 That is unusual: Centuries of plunder by treasure hunters and professional tomb raiders have spoiled many ancient Egyptian burial sites. Declan Walsh, New York Times, "Sarcophagus Found. Contents Unknown. (‘No Guessing, Please.’)," 13 July 2018 Democrats Having a host mayor snub a political convention would be highly unusual — and a sign of how hosting the GOP has divided local Democrats. Steve Harrison And Jim Morrill, charlotteobserver, "Why did council Democrats wait to oppose RNC? An inside look at Charlotte’s bid.," 13 July 2018 The vote was unusual because the firm had not previously been viewed as an ally. Anna M. Phillips, latimes.com, "LAUSD postpones effort to raise new parcel tax," 11 July 2018

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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Phrases Related to unusual

cruel and unusual punishment

Statistics for unusual

Last Updated

14 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for unusual

The first known use of unusual was in 1579

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More Definitions for unusual



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 \

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

Comments on unusual

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a generally accepted meaning of a word

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