Synonym Chooser

How does the adjective special differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of special are especial, individual, particular, and specific. While all these words mean "of or relating to one thing or class," special stresses having a quality, character, identity, or use of its own.

special ingredients

When would especial be a good substitute for special?

The meanings of especial and special largely overlap; however, especial may add implications of preeminence or preference.

a matter of especial importance

When is it sensible to use individual instead of special?

While the synonyms individual and special are close in meaning, individual implies unequivocal reference to one of a class or group.

valued each individual opinion

When is particular a more appropriate choice than special?

In some situations, the words particular and special are roughly equivalent. However, particular stresses the distinctness of something as an individual.

a ballet step of particular difficulty

When can specific be used instead of special?

Although the words specific and special have much in common, specific implies a quality or character distinguishing a kind or a species.

children with specific nutritional needs

Thesaurus Entries Near special

Cite this Entry

“Special.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/special. Accessed 11 Dec. 2023.

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