Definition of special in English:

special

adjective

  • 1Better, greater, or otherwise different from what is usual.

    ‘they always made a special effort at Christmas’
    • ‘Make a special effort to create your own family legends.’
    • ‘For boys considered special, different schools were created.’
    • ‘Grandad and I have special food, at different times from other people.’
    • ‘His normal breakfast had been average, but it would be no surprise to her if he made a special effort for his dream guest.’
    • ‘She began to wonder why Jon was so special and different.’
    • ‘Coordinators made no special efforts to place department coworkers on the same team.’
    • ‘It seemed different, more special then the rest.’
    • ‘He would not make any special effort to stay on my good side, beyond his normal dislike for conflict.’
    • ‘She hadn't gone to any special effort to make herself look good for Akihiro.’
    • ‘A tuxedo is something different and special, that will help you feel and look like a star.’
    • ‘She knew that he was making a special effort for her sake.’
    • ‘These special circumstances consist of different things.’
    • ‘As he experimented with special lenses and different exposures and paper, his photography became increasingly art-inspired.’
    • ‘We made a special effort to do a good performance.’
    • ‘It takes a special effort to have an ISDN line put in.’
    • ‘She sounds different and special and someone perfect for you.’
    • ‘As a school-age child, Swetha considered her special skills no different from any other extracurricular activity.’
    • ‘I may have been wrong: maybe this was going to be as special, just different.’
    • ‘This time it's special.’
    • ‘They all had their own special memories of different parts of the gardens.’
    exceptional, particular, extra special, unusual, marked, singular, uncommon, notable, noteworthy, remarkable, outstanding, unique
    momentous, significant, memorable, of moment, signal, important, historic, festive, gala, red-letter
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    1. 1.1 Exceptionally good or pleasant.
      ‘she's a very special person’
      • ‘This special collection is already remarkable for its scope and size, and it deserves our enthusiastic support.’
      • ‘I was this unusual child that was special in my parents' eyes - plus I was very loving with them.’
      • ‘The quality is exceptionally good, even though the special photopaper is expensive at about €5 for 10 sheets.’
      • ‘She never wore the same clothes twice, except for a few special outfits.’
      • ‘None of us had any special powers.’
      • ‘I have no special talents, except being able to sing.’
      • ‘There isn't anything special about him, except for the fact he's one of the richest men in town.’
      • ‘She was nothing significant, nothing special, nothing exceptional.’
      • ‘We didn't do anything special, except get ready for Homecoming.’
      • ‘However, the lack of special features make the village children sad.’
      • ‘I had a special place, where no one ever knew about, except Emily.’
      • ‘This woman is exceptional, she's special, she's extraordinary and I have great respect for her.’
      • ‘Once an implant has been installed it can't be uninstalled again except with special equipment.’
      • ‘Nothing was special about today, except how bad it was.’
      exceptional, particular, extra special, unusual, marked, singular, uncommon, notable, noteworthy, remarkable, outstanding, unique
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    2. 1.2 (of a subject) studied in particular depth.
      ‘I wanted to take the Crusades as my special subject’
      • ‘His colleagues would not even respect his views about the teaching of his own special subject.’
      • ‘Each volume is dedicated to a special topic.’
      • ‘Housing was a special topic discussed at the last policy meeting on June 29-30.’
      • ‘Credit cards are subject to extensive regulation, but that is a special topic and put to one side.’
      • ‘A further special issue of Accounting History has been commissioned.’
      • ‘She was not alone in rendering living flowers, but she made them her special subject.’
  • 2Belonging specifically to a particular person or place.

    ‘we want to preserve our town's special character’
    • ‘Each character has special abilities that only they can contribute to continuing the story.’
    • ‘Each title character possesses special abilities that come in handy depending on your style of play.’
    • ‘Players can catch elemental monsters called Djinni that unleash special attacks and change character stats and class.’
    • ‘Each character has plenty of special moves’
    • ‘Although in a boxing game story is of little importance, popular characters should receive special attention.’
    • ‘Efforts will be made to preserve the special character of the city.’
    • ‘There is a function in the game that slows down time temporarily and allows your character to perform special moves.’
    • ‘Each character will have several special attacks which can be executed during battles’
    • ‘Perhaps the special character of the place was signalled by ceremonial activities here about 7000 BC.’
    • ‘Yuliana belongs to a special caste in classical ballet - she is a character dancer.’
    • ‘Scripts are cryptic and are often hard to read due to the many special characters that have unique meanings within the language.’
    • ‘The special character of South Germany was expressed in the liberal subculture, which had lasting-power and prolonged success.’
    • ‘This title belongs under that extra special list of films that are so bad they're good.’
    distinctive, distinct, individual, particular, specific, certain, peculiar, definite, express, precise
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    1. 2.1 Designed or organized for a particular person, purpose, or occasion.
      ‘we will return by special coaches’
      • ‘There was shelving filled with fine silverware and cutlery for the special occasions.’
      • ‘This occasion is a special honor and treat for me.’
      • ‘General purpose home computers will gather dust as special purpose machines with cool designs and unbreakable software take over.’
      • ‘Asparagus is normally cooked, preferably by steaming in the special tall utensil designed for the purpose.’
      • ‘High-heel shoes are probably one of the most favorite designs women choose for their special occasions.’
      • ‘It spoke of a special herb that was designed to cure any illness.’
      • ‘Resolution 1115 set up a special committee for this purpose.’
      • ‘Tomorrow's the first day of school, it's a special occasion.’
      • ‘Usually I didn't wear make - up, but tonight was a special occasion.’
      specific, particular, purpose-built, tailor-made, custom-built
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    2. 2.2 Used to denote education for children with particular needs, especially those with learning difficulties.
      • ‘After teaching music at several locations, he found a job teaching a special education class at P.S. 92.’
      • ‘She graduated high school on time and entered the UVic English program with the goal of eventually becoming a special education teacher for the blind.’
      • ‘The claimant is a l5-year-old boy with special educational needs.’
      • ‘I am committed to the principle of inclusive education for children with special educational needs.’
      • ‘You get more money for your school district for special education.’
      • ‘Tr. was placed in special education classes all the way through school.’
      • ‘Jason had been in a special education classroom for years.’
      • ‘Paragraph 6.10 deals with the particular problems faced by pupils with special educational needs.’
      • ‘He attends a school for special educational needs in Spilsby and is looked after by his general practitioner and paediatric services from Boston Hospital.’
      • ‘I don't think the answer is special education or Ritalin - just different classes and teaching methods to encourage us to do our best.’
      • ‘If one failed re-education, they were dubbed as mentally inept, and put into a school for special education students.’
      • ‘We have her in special education programs to make up for the 16 months of little brain development.’
      • ‘I'm not a morning person, but I like to get up with my husband, who teaches seventh-grade special education.’
      • ‘Schools can provide assessments and special education plans.’
      • ‘All ninth graders get the same schedule unless they attend special education.’
      • ‘He had to repeat kindergarten because he was shuffled between three elementary schools and was placed in special education classes.’
      • ‘The Applicant is a nine year old boy with special educational needs.’
      • ‘I thought, considering the career in special education, that he would be patient.’
      • ‘They stated that what was required was consistency throughout the waking day, not programmes of special education.’
  • 3Mathematics
    Denoting a group consisting of matrices of unit determinant.

noun

  • 1A thing, such as a product or broadcast, that is designed or organized for a particular occasion or purpose.

    ‘television's election night specials’
    • ‘She has written music for many classical dramatic productions and television specials.’
    • ‘This is going to be an extraordinary special on Thursday night.’
    • ‘Channel 4 asked the show to produce an hour-long special.’
    • ‘There are a couple of trailers, some production notes and instant access to some of the specials highlights.’
    • ‘The artist had created several animated commercials and specials for television.’
    • ‘I was just in Nova Scotia for our CBC special on the 11-year-old singer Aselin Debison.’
    • ‘His special will air tomorrow night on CBS.’
    • ‘The Eos Orchestra has taped a special for PBS celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of the composer.’
    • ‘This is the time they highlight specials, spectaculars and exclusives to drive up revenue.’
    • ‘There's usually a special on this radio station my dad listens to and on Sundays, for an hour, they play Irish music.’
    • ‘All of these documentary specials rely heavily on source material for visuals and even sound.’
    • ‘The Peanuts specials were staples of prime time television in my childhood.’
    • ‘There are a number of specials produced by the Money Programme team that are broadcast in later evening slots.’
    • ‘It will air this Sunday night as a television special on ABC.’
    • ‘The image is clean, but about on par with a high-definition broadcast of an old television special.’
    • ‘Six of the late ABC anchor's primetime news specials are going to be a part of a two-disc set.’
    • ‘At the peak of her fame, she did a musical special for the ABC television network.’
    • ‘It was originally conceived as part of a CBS special.’
    • ‘Suddenly I could see how all the specials and talk shows about psychics were part of an overall design.’
    • ‘During the late 1950s, several hour-long specials were also broadcast.’
    1. 1.1 A dish not on the regular menu at a restaurant but served on a particular day.
      ‘customers queue for such specials as vegetable lasagne’
      • ‘Delicious weekly specials augment a superb menu, with a robust selection of favorites from America's four corners.’
      • ‘It's the left-hand menu specials that give me hope for the future of Chez Nous.’
      • ‘The daily specials appear on giant boards and included French onion soup and courgette with mint served with bread for €4.’
      • ‘There are some 20 cocktails on the menu plus a selection of five summer specials that are constantly changing.’
      • ‘I counted 20 main courses, if you include the four gourmet sandwiches and the evening special.’
      • ‘The Flying Biscuit Cafe has an ever-changing menu, and often features vegetarian specials.’
      • ‘Lulu walked over to the board and with a napkin erased the absurd menu special.’
      • ‘Clarke said competition from pubs is one of the main reasons restaurants have introduced lunch specials.’
      • ‘I had the fish special of hake served with potato purée and oriental-style dressing.’
      • ‘The fine-dining restaurant specialises in Californian-influenced Italian cuisine including shrimp and lobster specials served to the sounds of a live jazz band.’
      • ‘The heavily accented head of the restaurant read them the specials of the day while passing out the small but mouthwatering menu.’
      • ‘As well as the 15 starters and the 30 main courses, there are a whole bunch of specials that are never listed but always there.’
      • ‘Loch Fyne offers a large range of seafood delicacies, with an ever changing specials board to catch your eye.’
      • ‘The last page of the menu lists the festival specials, all priced at $5.95!’
      • ‘Restaurants run food specials for a number of reasons, sometimes because the chef found certain ingredients at a reduced price.’
      • ‘The dinner specials that evening included sausages and hot German potato salad and I was quite hungry.’
      • ‘The menu is as all good restaurants should be, very brief with only five starters, seven main courses and four desserts - but no specials I noticed.’
      • ‘Sausage rolls would go down well, especially if the filling was a bit special, perhaps good sausage mince mixed with game or venison.’
      • ‘The starter specials of the day included coconut and sweetcorn soup and Kerala spinach soup.’
      • ‘Since food and wine menus are printed every day, there are no specials to recite in addition to the wine pitch.’
      recipe, item of food, course
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 A person assigned to a special duty; a special constable or special correspondent.
      ‘when I went to arrest him he saw that I was a special’
    3. 1.3informal A product or service offered at a temporarily reduced price.
      ‘Mrs Hill was a careful shopper, choosing house brands and in-store specials’
      • ‘I am sure a lot of the merchants will be offering specials.’
      • ‘It will also send information about specials deals, new offers and other things you may be interested in.’
      • ‘Package deals and online specials may offer bigger bargains.’
      • ‘By clicking on send, visitors are automatically registered and will have the latest special offers e-mailed to them before they appear on the website.’
      • ‘Chef Mike Moody can't wait to offer some flavorful nightly specials that will feature seafood and plenty of flavor.’
      • ‘She checked mailings for catches in the small print and for any special offers.’
      • ‘You could, for example, offer specials, which were very successful for us.’
      • ‘Often, dry cleaners will offer two-for-one specials on selected items and on specific days.’
      • ‘There are reduced rates and specials being offered within other sections of the market.’
      • ‘Offer sales, specials and even giveaways to attract people into your store.’
      • ‘It's a winner when you want to inform a mass consumer audience about a short-term sale, event or special price offer.’
      • ‘They offer a handful of weekly specials but otherwise keep prices relatively high.’
      • ‘A family or couple can save money by bulk buying those special offers in the supermarkets.’
      • ‘Look for these specials in the newspaper or on television, or call a couple of stores to find out when the next promotion will be.’
      • ‘The new owners will serve just beer and wine and will offer daily beer specials.’
      • ‘Many Web sites offer close-out specials at even bigger discounts.’
      • ‘Wellington is awash in curry houses, thus they tend to offer specials to entice you to eat there.’

Phrases

  • on special

    • Available for sale at a reduced price.

      ‘they have hamburger buns on special today’
      • ‘It had been on special for 99 cents a tub at Woolies, so we had 8 tubs of it in the freezer.’
      • ‘One of them is liverwurst, which Larry got on special at the local deli.’
      • ‘I expect they had either been abducted or were on special in an aisle I had yet to discover.’
      • ‘Now I use paper towels, and buy them in the 12 pack when they're on special.’
      • ‘Foodtown had it on special for about $10 - an absolute steal.’
      • ‘They're on special!’
      • ‘We have a three pack of socks on special for only a fiver up at the till!’
      • ‘I'd got some really cute outfits that were on special for like half price and didn't spend that much money.’
      • ‘"I was comfortable enough to put the Vanilla Twist on special in all our restaurants this month."’
      • ‘She had bought it last week, on special at Foodland.’

Origin

Middle English: shortening of Old French especial ‘especial’ or Latin specialis, from species ‘appearance’ (see species).

Pronunciation

special

/ˈspɛʃ(ə)l/