Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English


English definition of “special”


noun [C] (THING NOT USUALLY AVAILABLE)   /ˈspeʃ·əl/
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 noun (THING NOT USUALLY AVAILABLE) from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of special

Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Restaurants & cafes, but you might be interested in these topics from the Eating and feeding topic area:

Definitions of “special” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

best man

a male friend or relation of the bridegroom who stands with him and helps him during a marriage ceremony

Word of the Day


Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More