unique and unusual


special [noun] (NOT USUAL)

not ordinary or usual

US /ˈspeʃ.əl/ 
UK /ˈspeʃ.əl/ 

ويژه‌، مخصوص‌، خاص‌


The car has a number of special safety features.

Oxford Essential Dictionary



1 not usual or ordinary; important for a reason:
It's my birthday today so we are having a special dinner.

2 for a particular person or thing:
He goes to a special school for deaf children.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English


I. special1 S1 W1 /ˈspeʃəl/ BrE AmE adjective
[Word Family: noun: ↑special, ↑specialist, SPECIALITY/SPECIALTY, ↑specialization, ↑specialism; adjective: ↑special, ↑specialized; verb: ↑specialize; adverb: ↑specially]
[Date: 1100-1200; Language: Old French; Origin: especial, from Latin specialis 'particular', from species; ⇨ ↑species]
1. not ordinary or usual, but different in some way and often better or more important:
a special place in the classroom for reading
No one receives special treatment.
Maria’s special recipe for apple pie
The good china was used only on special occasions.
Each village has its own special charm.
anything/something/nothing special
Are you doing anything special for Christmas?
2. particularly important to someone and deserving attention, love etc:
a party with a few special friends
a teacher who made every child feel special
Her second son had a special place in her heart.
3. [only before noun] a special position or job has a particular purpose or aim, and continues only until that purpose or aim is achieved:
Mitchell acted as a special envoy in the Northern Ireland peace talks.
4. [only before noun] more than usual SYN particular:
Pay special attention to how you clean the wound.

Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary


spe·cial [special specials] adjective, noun   [ˈspeʃl]    [ˈspeʃl] 


1. usually before noun not ordinary or usual; different from what is normal
Syn:  exceptional
The school will only allow this in special circumstances.
Some of the officials have special privileges.
There is something special about this place.

• This type of wood needs special treatment.

2. more important than others; deserving or getting more attention than usual
What are your special interests?
She's a very special friend.
• Our special guest on next week's show will be…

• Don't lose it — it's special.

3. organized or intended for a particular purpose
a special event
• These teachers need special training.

• Dr Pearce is the special adviser on environmental issues.

4. used by or intended for one particular person or group of people
• She has a special way of smiling.

• He sent a special message to the men.

5. only before noun better or more than usual
As an only child she got special attention.
Please take special care of it.
compare  especial  
Word Origin:
Middle English: shortening of Old French especial ‘especial’ or Latin specialis, from species ‘appearance’, from specere ‘to look’.  
special adj.
1. usually before noun
Journalists were given no special privileges.
exceptionalparticular|formal extraordinary
Opp: ordinary
a special/an exceptional case/situation
special/exceptional circumstances
of special/particular concern/importance/interest
She has a special way of smiling.
uniquedistinctivepeculiaridiosyncratic|usually approving individual
sth special/unique/distinctive/individual about sth
a/an special/unique/distinctive/peculiar/idiosyncratic/individual style/character
sb/sth's special/unique/distinctive/peculiar brand of sth 
Example Bank:
He was usually to be found in the cafe at his own special table by the window.
In special circumstances candidates without these qualifications may be considered.
It's the author's special way of paying homage to an earlier poet.
Journalists were given no special privileges.
Police advised residents to take special precautions because of the increase in burglaries.
The President ended with a special message for the people of Texas.
The choreographer created a special style of dance for each character.
The director received a special ovation from the actors.
The directors have their own special pension fund.
The merger was approved at a special meeting of shareholders.
The oil industry was treated as a special case.
The speaker paid special tribute to the founder of the organization.
• There really is something special about the place.

Idiom: on special 

Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary

Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary - 4th Edition

special / ˈspeʃ. ə l / adjective (NOT USUAL)

A2 not ordinary or usual:

The car has a number of special safety features.

Is there anything special that you'd like to do today?

Passengers should tell the airline in advance if they have any special dietary needs.

I don't expect special treatment - I just want to be treated fairly.

Full details of the election results will be published in a special edition of tomorrow's newspaper.

I have a suit for special occasions .

There's a special offer on peaches ( UK also peaches are on special offer ) (= they are being sold at a reduced price) this week.

A2 especially great or important, or having a quality that most similar things or people do not have:

Could I ask you a special favour?

I'm cooking something special for her birthday.


special / ˈspeʃ. ə l / adjective [ before noun ] (PARTICULAR)

B1 having a particular purpose:

Firefighters use special breathing equipment in smoky buildings.

Some of the children have special educational needs.

You need special tyres on your car for snow.

She works as a special adviser to the president.

© Cambridge University Press 2013

Collins COBUILD Advanced Learner’s English Dictionary


 1) ADJ-GRADED Someone or something that is special is better or more important than other people or things.
  You're very special to me, darling...
  There are strong arguments for holidays at Easter and Christmas because these are special occasions...
  Just to see him was something special...
  My special guest will be comedian Ben Elton.
 2) ADJ: ADJ n Special means different from normal.
  In special cases, a husband can deduct the travel expenses of his wife who accompanies him on a business trip...
  So you didn't notice anything special about him?...
  There is nothing worse than trying to relax and eat a special meal only to find clouds of cigarette smoke drifting over you.
  ...`Little Scarlet' strawberry jam, made from a special variety of strawberry.
 3) ADJ: ADJ n You use special to describe someone who is officially appointed or who has a particular position specially created for them.
  Due to his wife's illness, he returned to the State Department as special adviser to the President...
  Frank Deford is a special correspondent for Newsweek magazine.
 4) ADJ: ADJ n Special institutions are for people who have serious physical or mental problems.
  Police are still searching for a convicted rapist, who escaped from Broadmoor special hospital yesterday.
 5) ADJ: ADJ n You use special to describe something that relates to one particular person, group, or place.
  Every anxious person will have his or her own special problems or fears.
  ...it requires a very special brand of courage to fight dictators.
 6) N-COUNT A special is a product, programme, or meal which is not normally available, or which is made for a particular purpose.
  ...complaints about the BBC's Hallowee̱n special, `Ghostwatch'...
  Grocery stores have to offer enough specials to bring people into the store.
  ...talk shows and news specials.

Merriam-Webster's Advanced Learner's Dictionary

Merriam-Webster's Advanced Learner's Dictionary: 

1spe·cial /ˈspɛʃəl/ adj
1 [more ~; most ~] : different from what is normal or usual
• This is a special case and I want you to handle it personally.
• Only under special circumstances will you be allowed to retake the test.
• Is there any special [=particular] reason why you're not coming? especially; : unusual in a good way : better or more important than others
• Your many years of service put you in a special category.
• Why should you receive any special treatment?
• It takes a special quality to do what he did.
• This is a very special occasion.
• Are you doing anything special over the holidays?
• The movie was nothing special. [=was not particularly good]
• We have a special guest tonight—the mayor.
2 [more ~; most ~] : especially important or loved
• a special friend
• No one is more special to me than my wife.
• He always made her feel special.
• He holds a special place in her heart.
3 always used before a noun
a : more than is usual
• Pay special attention to the last paragraph.
• Take special care on the way down the stairs.
• They showed special concern for the children.
• The report places special emphasis on new technology.
b : additional or extra
• a special edition of a newspaper
• He won't tell us the special ingredient in his salad dressing.
• This camera has a special feature that lets you take panoramic views.
4 always used before a noun : relating to or intended for a particular purpose
• a special diet
• He was on special assignment for the government.
special election coverage
• I was given special orders not to let you in.
• To clean the oven, I had to wear special gloves. [=a particular kind of glove]
• Do you have any special instructions for the babysitter?
• a special correspondent/prosecutor

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