One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1‘meteorologists described the drought as exceptional’
unusual, uncommon, abnormal, atypical, extraordinary, out of the ordinary, out of the way, rare, singular, unprecedented, unexpected, surprising
strange, odd, queer, bizarre, freakish, anomalous, peculiar, inconsistent, deviant, divergent, aberrant, unheard of
British out of the common
informal weird, way out, freaky, something else
2‘we were taught by men of quite exceptional ability’
outstanding, extraordinary, remarkable, unusually good, special, especial, excellent, phenomenal, prodigious
unequalled, unparalleled, unrivalled, unsurpassed, unsurpassable, unexcelled, peerless, matchless, second to none, in a league of their own, first-rate, first-class, of the first order, of the first water
informal A1, top-notch, tip-top, stellar
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