Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “special”

See all translations

special

adjective  /ˈspeʃ·əl/ us  

special adjective (NOT USUAL)

not ordinary or usual: a special occasion special attention/treatment The car has a number of special safety features. Is there anything special you’d like to do today? The magazine published a special anniversary issue. Special can also mean unusually great or important: You’re very special to me.

special adjective (PARTICULAR)

[not gradable] having a particular purpose: Kevin goes to a special school for the blind. She’s a special correspondent for National Public Radio.

special

noun [C]  /ˈspeʃ·əl/ us  

special noun [C] (THING NOT USUALLY AVAILABLE)

something that is not usually available: There’s a two-hour special (= a television program that is not regularly shown) on the Olympics tonight. Our restaurant’s specials today are pasta primavera, baked chicken with rice, and shrimp scampi (= these foods are not always sold). A special is also the sale of goods at a reduced price: The store had a special on lawn furniture this week.
(Definition of special from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of special?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “special” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

exercise

physical activity that you do to make your body strong and healthy

Word of the Day

Byronic, Orwellian and Darwinian: adjectives from names.

by Liz Walter,
April 15, 2015
Becoming an adjective is a strange kind of memorial, but it is often a sign of a person having had real influence on the world. Science is full of examples, from Hippocrates, the Greek medic born around 460 BC, who gave his name to the Hippocratic Oath still used by doctors today,

Read More 

bio-inspiration noun

April 13, 2015
the adoption of patterns and structures found in nature for the purposes of engineering, manufacturing, science, etc. The MIT researchers actually aren’t the only robotics team to turn to cheetahs for bio-inspiration.

Read More