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 In a year that has set records for the number of ships coming and going through the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, Friday was not unusual. Los Angeles Times, 6 Oct. 2021 Three openings on the influential federal bench is unusual in a small state such as Connecticut, which is allocated eight federal judgeships, lifetime appointments with a salary of about $211,000. Edmund H. Mahony, courant.com, 6 Oct. 2021 The timing of the J&J filing was unusual given that the FDA had already scheduled its meeting on the company's data. CBS News, 5 Oct. 2021 But this moment is unusual: People don’t usually forgo reproduction en masse out of apocalyptic fear. Liza Featherstone, The New Republic, 1 Oct. 2021 Spears’ case is unusual: Conservatorships are typically not imposed on someone who doesn’t have severe cognitive impairments. Naomi Cahn, The Conversation, 30 Sep. 2021 Nothing about that scenario is unusual, said Scalici. al, 29 Sep. 2021 The claim that Bannon could be covered by the former President's privilege is unusual because Bannon was not working for the federal government during the period surrounding the January 6 insurrection. Jim Acosta And Paul Leblanc, CNN, 9 Oct. 2021 There's no such federal law addressing the current situation, but then the Texas provision is itself unusual. Mark Sherman, ajc, 8 Oct. 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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Last Updated

12 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Unusual.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unusual. Accessed 18 Oct. 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

More from Merriam-Webster on unusual

Nglish: Translation of unusual for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of unusual for Arabic Speakers


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