Definition of special in English:

special

adjective

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

    ‘they always made a special effort at Christmas’
    • ‘She began to wonder why Jon was so special and different.’
    • ‘As he experimented with special lenses and different exposures and paper, his photography became increasingly art-inspired.’
    • ‘It seemed different, more special then the rest.’
    • ‘For boys considered special, different schools were created.’
    • ‘It takes a special effort to have an ISDN line put in.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We made a special effort to do a good performance.’
    • ‘Make a special effort to create your own family legends.’
    • ‘She knew that he was making a special effort for her sake.’
    • ‘She sounds different and special and someone perfect for you.’
    • ‘They all had their own special memories of different parts of the gardens.’
    • ‘His normal breakfast had been average, but it would be no surprise to her if he made a special effort for his dream guest.’
    • ‘As a school-age child, Swetha considered her special skills no different from any other extracurricular activity.’
    • ‘This time it's special.’
    • ‘Coordinators made no special efforts to place department coworkers on the same team.’
    • ‘A tuxedo is something different and special, that will help you feel and look like a star.’
    • ‘These special circumstances consist of different things.’
    • ‘I may have been wrong: maybe this was going to be as special, just different.’
    • ‘Grandad and I have special food, at different times from other people.’
    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 precious.
      ‘she's a very special person’
      • ‘I had a special place, where no one ever knew about, except Emily.’
      • ‘None of us had any special powers.’
      • ‘I have no special talents, except being able to sing.’
      • ‘This woman is exceptional, she's special, she's extraordinary and I have great respect for her.’
      • ‘There isn't anything special about him, except for the fact he's one of the richest men in town.’
      • ‘She never wore the same clothes twice, except for a few special outfits.’
      • ‘She was nothing significant, nothing special, nothing exceptional.’
      • ‘However, the lack of special features make the village children sad.’
      • ‘This special collection is already remarkable for its scope and size, and it deserves our enthusiastic support.’
      • ‘We didn't do anything special, except get ready for Homecoming.’
      • ‘Once an implant has been installed it can't be uninstalled again except with special equipment.’
      • ‘The quality is exceptionally good, even though the special photopaper is expensive at about €5 for 10 sheets.’
      • ‘I was this unusual child that was special in my parents' eyes - plus I was very loving with them.’
      • ‘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 Belonging specifically to a particular person or place.
      ‘we want to preserve our town's special character’
      • ‘There is a function in the game that slows down time temporarily and allows your character to perform special moves.’
      • ‘Players can catch elemental monsters called Djinni that unleash special attacks and change character stats and class.’
      • ‘Perhaps the special character of the place was signalled by ceremonial activities here about 7000 BC.’
      • ‘Scripts are cryptic and are often hard to read due to the many special characters that have unique meanings within the language.’
      • ‘Each character has plenty of special moves’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Yuliana belongs to a special caste in classical ballet - she is a character dancer.’
      • ‘The special character of South Germany was expressed in the liberal subculture, which had lasting-power and prolonged success.’
      • ‘Although in a boxing game story is of little importance, popular characters should receive special attention.’
      • ‘This title belongs under that extra special list of films that are so bad they're good.’
      • ‘Efforts will be made to preserve the special character of the city.’
      • ‘Each character will have several special attacks which can be executed during battles’
      distinctive, distinct, individual, particular, specific, certain, peculiar, definite, express, precise
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    3. 1.3 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.’
      • ‘Asparagus is normally cooked, preferably by steaming in the special tall utensil designed for the purpose.’
      • ‘It spoke of a special herb that was designed to cure any illness.’
      • ‘Usually I didn't wear make - up, but tonight was a special occasion.’
      • ‘Resolution 1115 set up a special committee for this purpose.’
      • ‘This occasion is a special honor and treat for me.’
      • ‘High-heel shoes are probably one of the most favorite designs women choose for their special occasions.’
      • ‘General purpose home computers will gather dust as special purpose machines with cool designs and unbreakable software take over.’
      • ‘Tomorrow's the first day of school, it's a special occasion.’
      specific, particular, purpose-built, tailor-made, custom-built
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    4. 1.4 (of a subject) studied in particular depth.
      • ‘Credit cards are subject to extensive regulation, but that is a special topic and put to one side.’
      • ‘Housing was a special topic discussed at the last policy meeting on June 29-30.’
      • ‘A further special issue of Accounting History has been commissioned.’
      • ‘His colleagues would not even respect his views about the teaching of his own special subject.’
      • ‘She was not alone in rendering living flowers, but she made them her special subject.’
      • ‘Each volume is dedicated to a special topic.’
    5. 1.5 Used to denote education for children with particular needs, especially those with learning difficulties.
      • ‘I am committed to the principle of inclusive education for children with special educational needs.’
      • ‘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 Applicant is a nine year old boy with special educational needs.’
      • ‘Tr. was placed in special education classes all the way through school.’
      • ‘I don't think the answer is special education or Ritalin - just different classes and teaching methods to encourage us to do our best.’
      • ‘All ninth graders get the same schedule unless they attend special education.’
      • ‘After teaching music at several locations, he found a job teaching a special education class at P.S. 92.’
      • ‘They stated that what was required was consistency throughout the waking day, not programmes of special education.’
      • ‘I thought, considering the career in special education, that he would be patient.’
      • ‘The claimant is a l5-year-old boy with special educational needs.’
      • ‘If one failed re-education, they were dubbed as mentally inept, and put into a school for special education students.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He had to repeat kindergarten because he was shuffled between three elementary schools and was placed in special education classes.’
      • ‘You get more money for your school district for special education.’
      • ‘Schools can provide assessments and special education plans.’
      • ‘I'm not a morning person, but I like to get up with my husband, who teaches seventh-grade special education.’
      • ‘We have her in special education programs to make up for the 16 months of little brain development.’
      • ‘Jason had been in a special education classroom for years.’
    6. 1.6Mathematics Denoting a group consisting of matrices of unit determinant.

noun

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

    ‘television's election night specials’
    • ‘There are a number of specials produced by the Money Programme team that are broadcast in later evening slots.’
    • ‘At the peak of her fame, she did a musical special for the ABC television network.’
    • ‘The artist had created several animated commercials and specials for television.’
    • ‘She has written music for many classical dramatic productions and television specials.’
    • ‘During the late 1950s, several hour-long specials were also broadcast.’
    • ‘All of these documentary specials rely heavily on source material for visuals and even sound.’
    • ‘There's usually a special on this radio station my dad listens to and on Sundays, for an hour, they play Irish music.’
    • ‘This is the time they highlight specials, spectaculars and exclusives to drive up revenue.’
    • ‘Six of the late ABC anchor's primetime news specials are going to be a part of a two-disc set.’
    • ‘Channel 4 asked the show to produce an hour-long special.’
    • ‘His special will air tomorrow night on CBS.’
    • ‘This is going to be an extraordinary special on Thursday night.’
    • ‘The Peanuts specials were staples of prime time television in my childhood.’
    • ‘There are a couple of trailers, some production notes and instant access to some of the specials highlights.’
    • ‘It was originally conceived as part of a CBS special.’
    • ‘It will air this Sunday night as a television special on ABC.’
    • ‘I was just in Nova Scotia for our CBC special on the 11-year-old singer Aselin Debison.’
    • ‘The Eos Orchestra has taped a special for PBS celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of the composer.’
    • ‘The image is clean, but about on par with a high-definition broadcast of an old television special.’
    • ‘Suddenly I could see how all the specials and talk shows about psychics were part of an overall design.’
    1. 1.1 A dish not on the regular menu at a restaurant but served on a particular day.
      • ‘Restaurants run food specials for a number of reasons, sometimes because the chef found certain ingredients at a reduced price.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Clarke said competition from pubs is one of the main reasons restaurants have introduced lunch specials.’
      • ‘Lulu walked over to the board and with a napkin erased the absurd menu special.’
      • ‘Delicious weekly specials augment a superb menu, with a robust selection of favorites from America's four corners.’
      • ‘The last page of the menu lists the festival specials, all priced at $5.95!’
      • ‘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 fine-dining restaurant specialises in Californian-influenced Italian cuisine including shrimp and lobster specials served to the sounds of a live jazz band.’
      • ‘Loch Fyne offers a large range of seafood delicacies, with an ever changing specials board to catch your eye.’
      • ‘Since food and wine menus are printed every day, there are no specials to recite in addition to the wine pitch.’
      • ‘The starter specials of the day included coconut and sweetcorn soup and Kerala spinach soup.’
      • ‘Sausage rolls would go down well, especially if the filling was a bit special, perhaps good sausage mince mixed with game or venison.’
      • ‘I had the fish special of hake served with potato purée and oriental-style dressing.’
      • ‘The heavily accented head of the restaurant read them the specials of the day while passing out the small but mouthwatering menu.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The dinner specials that evening included sausages and hot German potato salad and I was quite hungry.’
      • ‘The daily specials appear on giant boards and included French onion soup and courgette with mint served with bread for €4.’
      • ‘The Flying Biscuit Cafe has an ever-changing menu, and often features vegetarian specials.’
      • ‘It's the left-hand menu specials that give me hope for the future of Chez Nous.’
      recipe, item of food, course
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2informal A product or service offered at a temporarily reduced price.
      • ‘Wellington is awash in curry houses, thus they tend to offer specials to entice you to eat there.’
      • ‘It's a winner when you want to inform a mass consumer audience about a short-term sale, event or special price offer.’
      • ‘Offer sales, specials and even giveaways to attract people into your store.’
      • ‘There are reduced rates and specials being offered within other sections of the market.’
      • ‘Package deals and online specials may offer bigger bargains.’
      • ‘Many Web sites offer close-out specials at even bigger discounts.’
      • ‘They offer a handful of weekly specials but otherwise keep prices relatively high.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A family or couple can save money by bulk buying those special offers in the supermarkets.’
      • ‘It will also send information about specials deals, new offers and other things you may be interested in.’
      • ‘She checked mailings for catches in the small print and for any special offers.’
      • ‘Chef Mike Moody can't wait to offer some flavorful nightly specials that will feature seafood and plenty of flavor.’
      • ‘Often, dry cleaners will offer two-for-one specials on selected items and on specific days.’
      • ‘You could, for example, offer specials, which were very successful for us.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I am sure a lot of the merchants will be offering specials.’
      • ‘The new owners will serve just beer and wine and will offer daily beer specials.’

Phrases

  • on special

    • Available for sale at a reduced price.

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

Origin

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

Pronunciation

special

/ˈspɛʃəl//ˈspeSHəl/