Special definition

spĕshəl
Frequency:
Surpassing what is common or usual; exceptional.

A special occasion; a special treat.

adjective
21
7
Not general or regular; specific or limited.

Special legislation.

adjective
10
4
A special person or thing; specif., a special train, edition, sale offer or item, etc.
noun
10
5
Having a physical or mental disability.
adjective
9
8
A single TV program, not part of a regular series.
noun
8
7
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Special describes something that is superior, great, or unique or something that is only for specific people.

An example of special is a limited edition of an art print.

An example of special is an extra effort made to be nice.

An example of special is a really smart person's intelligence.

adjective
1
0
Regarded with particular affection and admiration.

A special friend.

adjective
1
0
Additional; extra.

A special holiday flight.

adjective
1
0
Distinct among others of a kind.

A special type of paint; a special medication for arthritis.

adjective
1
0
Arranged for a particular occasion or purpose.

A special visit from her daughter.

adjective
1
0
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Distinguished by a unique or unusual quality.

A special episode of a television series.

adjective
1
0
Of particular interest or value; certain; dear; beloved; favored.

Everyone is special to someone.

adjective
1
0
(euphemistic, derogatory) Retarded; mentally handicapped.

He goes to a special school.

adjective
1
0
Having a limited or specific function, application, or scope.

A special role in the mission.

adjective
1
1
Constituting or relating to a species.

The seven dark spots is a special property unique to Coccinella septempunctata.

adjective
1
1
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Chief in excellence.
adjective
0
0
(broadcasting) Unusual or exceptional episode of a series.
noun
0
0
(UK, colloquial) A special constable.
noun
0
0
Anything that is not according to normal practice, plan, or schedule, as an unscheduled run of transportation that is normally scheduled.

Thousands came to the special that carried the President's coffin.

noun
0
0
(video games) Special move.
noun
0
0
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Peculiar to a specific person or thing; particular.

My own special chair; the special features of a computer.

adjective
1
2
Primary.

His special satisfaction comes from volunteer work.

adjective
0
1
Something arranged, issued, or appropriated to a particular service or occasion.

Rode to work on the commuter special.

noun
0
1
A featured attraction, such as a reduced price.

A special on salmon.

noun
0
1
Of a kind different from others; distinctive, peculiar, or unique.
adjective
0
1
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Exceptional; extraordinary.

A special treat.

adjective
0
1
Of or for a particular person, occasion, purpose, etc.

By special permission, a special edition.

adjective
0
1
A reduction in consumer cost (usually for a limited time) for items or services rendered.

We're running a special on turkey for Thanksgiving.

noun
0
1
A single television production that features a specific work, a given topic, or a particular performer.
noun
0
2
Highly regarded or valued.

A special friend.

adjective
0
2
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
special
Plural:
specials

Origin of special

  • Middle English from Old French especial from Latin speciālis from speciēs kind species

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Middle English, from Old French especial (whence also French spécial), from Latin specialis (from species, speciei). Used in English since the 13th century.

    From Wiktionary