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 What Nolan was doing - scrolling and comparing - isn’t unusual, said Ryan Patel, a psychiatrist in Ohio State University’s counseling center and chair-elect of the American College Health Association’s mental health section. Lauren Lumpkin, Anchorage Daily News, "A mental health crisis was unraveling on college campuses, and the pandemic has made it worse," 31 Mar. 2021 Although the rescue may have been unusual, each step seemed almost routine. Washington Post, "Dog bolts from owner in D.C.; found next day stranded on a rail bridge," 31 Mar. 2021 Tamburino told Yuccas the trial has already been unusual – seating a jury took more than two weeks. CBS News, "Floyd family attorney says defense trying to "assassinate" George Floyd's character," 29 Mar. 2021 In an interview, Hedge said FDA holds are not unusual and can mean that federal inspectors have a simple question about an import. Bethany Rodgers, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Exclusive: Utah’s power brokers helped Draper pharmacist with customs holdup on drug import," 29 Mar. 2021 Of course the spending spree was unusual, and of course it was borne of desperation. BostonGlobe.com, "Who said no one would want to play in New England? Bill Belichick still makes it an NFL destination for free agents," 28 Mar. 2021 The new Mozart-Jones recording is unusual, though, in its choose-your-own-adventure approach. New York Times, "Music’s Most Treacherous Assignment: Finishing Mozart," 26 Mar. 2021 At the time, as third-party voices note, such frank discussion of domestic abuse was unusual, and Turner's efforts to put her marital split behind her by speaking out -- and later writing a book -- didn't really work. Brian Lowry, CNN, "'Tina' tells Tina Turner's story, with a tribute that keeps on turning," 26 Mar. 2021 The past year is unusual because the number of people apprehended while illegally crossing the border has increased every month since last March. Sarah Westwood, Washington Examiner, "Fact-checking Biden's first press conference since taking office," 26 Mar. 2021

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

3 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Unusual.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unusual. Accessed 13 Apr. 2021.

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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 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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Comments on unusual

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