American English

Definition of special adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[usually before noun] not ordinary or usual; different from what is normal synonym 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. 2more 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. 3organized or intended for a particular purpose a special event These teachers need special training. Dr. Pearce is the special adviser on environmental issues.
  4. 4used 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. 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
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: special