Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of special
Meaning of special by Wiktionary Dictionary



    From Middle English, from Old French especial ( whence also French spécial ), from Latin specialis ( from species, speciei ). Used in English since the 13th century .


    • enPR: spĕʹshəl, IPA: /ˈspɛ.ʃəl/, X-SAMPA: /"spE.S@l/
    • Rhymes: -ɛʃəl


    special ( comparative more special, superlative most special )

    1. Distinguished by a unique or unusual quality .
      a special episode of a television series
    2. Of particular interest or value; certain; dear; beloved; favored .
      Everyone is special to someone .
    3. ( euphemistic ) Retarded; mentally handicapped
      He goes to a special school .
    4. Constituting or relating to a species .
      The seven dark spots is a special property unique to Coccinella septempunctata .

    Related terms


    special ( plural: specials )

    1. A reduction in consumer cost ( usually for a limited time ) for items or services rendered .
      We're running a special on turkey for Thanksgiving .
    2. ( broadcasting ) Unusual or exceptional episode of a series
    3. ( UK, colloquial ) A special constable .
    4. Anything that is not according to normal practice, plan, or schedule, as an unscheduled run of transportation that is normally scheduled .
      Thousands came to the special that carried the President's coffin .



Explanation of special by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. surpassing what is common or usual or expected

    2. he paid especial attention to her
      a special occasion
      a special reason to confide in her
      what's so special about the year 2000?
    3. having a specific function or scope

    4. a special ( or specific ) role in the mission
    5. unique or specific to a person or thing or category

    6. the special features of a computer
      my own special chair
    7. for a special service or occasion

    8. a special correspondent
      a special adviser to the committee
      had to get special permission for the event
    9. first and most important

    10. his special interest is music
      she gets special ( or particular ) satisfaction from her volunteer work
    11. adapted to or reserved for a particular purpose

    12. a special kind of paint
      a special medication for arthritis
    13. added to a regular schedule

    14. a special holiday flight
      put on special buses for the big game
    1. a television production that features a particular person or work or topic

    2. the last of a series of BBC specials on Iran is being shown tonight
    3. a special offering ( usually temporary and at a reduced price ) that is featured in advertising

    4. they are having a special on pork chops
    5. a dish or meal given prominence in e.g. a restaurant

    Definition of special by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Special a. [L. specialis, fr. species a particular sort, kind, or quality: cf. F. spécial. See Species, and cf. Especial.]
      1. Of or pertaining to a species; constituting a species or sort.

      A special is called by the schools a “species”. I. Watts.

      2. Particular; peculiar; different from others; extraordinary; uncommon.

      Our Savior is represented everywhere in Scripture as the special patron of the poor and the afficted. Atterbury.

      To this special evil an improvement of style would apply a special redress. De Quincey.

      3. Appropriate; designed for a particular purpose, occasion, or person; as, “a special act of Parliament or of Congress; a special sermon”.

      4. Limited in range; confined to a definite field of action, investigation, or discussion; as, “a special dictionary of commercial terms; a special branch of study”.

      5. Chief in excellence. [Obs.]

      The king hath drawn

      The special head of all the land together. Shak.

      Special administration ( Law ), an administration limited to certain specified effects or acts, or one granted during a particular time or the existence of a special cause, as during a controversy respecting the probate of a will, or the right of administration, etc. -- Special agency, an agency confined to some particular matter. -- Special bail, Bail above, or Bail to the action ( Law ), sureties who undertake that, if the defendant is convicted, he shall satisfy the plaintiff, or surrender himself into custody. Tomlins. Wharton ( Law Dict. ). -- Special constable. See under Constable. Bouvier. -- Special damage ( Law ), a damage resulting from the act complained of, as a natural, but not the necessary, consequence of it. -- Special demurrer ( Law ), a demurrer for some defect of form in the opposite party pleading, in which the cause of demurrer is particularly stated. -- Special deposit, a deposit made of a specific thing to be kept distinct from others. -- Special homology. ( Biol. ) See under Homology. --
      Special injuction ( Law ), an injuction granted on special grounds, arising of the circumstances of the case. Daniell. -- Special issue ( Law ), an issue produced upon a special plea. Stephen. -- Special jury ( Law ), a jury consisting of persons of some particular calling, station, or qualification, which is called upon motion of either party when the cause is supposed to require it; a struck jury. -- Special orders ( Mil. ), orders which do not concern, and are not published to, the whole command, such as those relating to the movement of a particular corps, a detail, a temporary camp, etc. -- Special partner, a limited partner; a partner with a limited or restricted responsibility; -- unknown at common law. -- Special partnership, a limited or particular partnership; -- a term sometimes applied to a partnership in a particular business, operation, or adventure. -- Special plea in bar ( Law ), a plea setting forth particular and new matter, distinguished from the general issue. Bouvier. -- Special pleader ( Law ),
      originally, a counsel who devoted himself to drawing special counts and pleas; in a wider sense, a lawyer who draws pleadings. -- Special pleading ( Law ), the allegation of special or new matter, as distingiushed from a direct denial of matter previously alleged on the side. Bouvier. The popular denomination of the whole science of pleading. Stephen. The phrase is sometimes popularly applied to the specious, but unsound, argumentation of one whose aim is victory, and not truth. Burrill. -- Special property ( Law ), a qualified or limited ownership possession, as in wild animals, things found or bailed. -- Special session, an extraordinary session; a session at an unusual time or for an unusual purpose; as, “a special session of Congress or of a legislature”. -- Special statute, or Special law, an act of the legislature which has reference to a particular person, place, or interest; a private law; -- in distinction from a general law or public law. -- Special verdict ( Law ), a special finding of the facts of the
      case, leaving to the court the application of the law to them. Wharton ( Law Dict. ).

      Syn. -- Peculiar; appropriate; specific; dictinctive; particular; exceptional; singular. See Peculiar.

    2. Special, n.
      1. A particular. [Obs.] Hammond.

      2. One appointed for a special service or occasion.

      In special, specially; in particular. Chaucer.