special Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “special” in the English Dictionary

"special" in British English

See all translations

specialadjective

uk   us   /ˈspeʃ.əl/
  • special adjective (NOT USUAL)

A2 not ​ordinary or ​usual: The ​car has a ​number of special ​safetyfeatures. Is there anything special that you'd like to do today? Passengers should ​tell the ​airline in ​advance if they have any special ​dietaryneeds. I don't ​expect special ​treatment - I just ​want to be ​treatedfairly. Full ​details of the ​electionresults 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 specialoffer) (= they are being ​sold at a ​reducedprice) this ​week.A2 especiallygreat 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.

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

  • special adjective (PARTICULAR)

B1 [before noun] having a ​particularpurpose: Firefighters use special ​breathingequipment in ​smokybuildings. Some of the ​children have special ​educationalneeds. You need special ​tyres on ​yourcar for ​snow. She ​works as a special ​adviser to the ​president.

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

specialnoun [C]

uk   us   /ˈspeʃ.əl/
a ​televisionprogramme that is made for a ​particularreason or ​occasion and is not ​part of a ​series: a three-hour ​electionnight special a ​dish that is ​available in a ​restaurant on a ​particularday that is not usually ​available: Today's specials are written on the ​board. mainly US a ​product that is being ​sold at a ​reducedprice for a ​shortperiod: Today's specials ​include T-shirts for only $2.99.
(Definition of special from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"special" in American English

See all translations

specialadjective

 us   /ˈspeʃ·əl/
  • special adjective (NOT USUAL)

not ​ordinary or ​usual: a special ​occasion special ​attention/​treatment The ​car has a ​number of special ​safetyfeatures. Is there anything special you’d like to do today? The ​magazinepublished a special ​anniversaryissue. Special can also ​meanunusuallygreat or ​important: You’re very special to me.
  • special adjective (PARTICULAR)

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

specialnoun [C]

 us   /ˈspeʃ·əl/
  • special noun [C] (THING NOT USUALLY AVAILABLE)

something that is not usually ​available: There’s a two-hour special (= a ​televisionprogram that is not ​regularlyshown) on the ​Olympicstonight. Our restaurant’s specials today are ​pasta primavera, ​bakedchicken with ​rice, and ​shrimp scampi (= these ​foods are not always ​sold). A special is also the ​sale of ​goods at a ​reducedprice: The ​store had a special on ​lawnfurniture this ​week.
(Definition of special from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"special" in Business English

See all translations

specialadjective

uk   us   /ˈspeʃəl/
not ordinary or usual: Hongkong has a special ​relationship with the world's ​financialmarkets.
having a particular ​purpose: special ​representative/​adviser/​committee

specialnoun [C]

uk   us   /ˈspeʃəl/
a ​product that is being ​sold at a ​reducedprice for a ​shortperiod: a special on sth This week we have a special on children's toys.
(Definition of special from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of special?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

“special” in Business English

Word of the Day

drum

a musical instrument, especially one made from a skin stretched over the end of a hollow tube or bowl, played by hitting with the hand or a stick

Word of the Day

I used to work hard/I’m used to working hard (Phrases with ‘used to’)
I used to work hard/I’m used to working hard (Phrases with ‘used to’)
by Kate Woodford,
February 10, 2016
On this blog, we like to look at words and phrases in the English language that learners often have difficulty with. Two phrases that can be confused are ‘used to do something’ and ‘be used to something/doing something’. People often use one phrase when they mean the other, or they use the wrong

Read More 

farecasting noun
farecasting noun
February 08, 2016
predicting the optimum date to buy a plane ticket, especially on a website or using an app A handful of new and updated websites and apps are trying to perfect the art of what’s known as farecasting – predicting the best date to buy a ticket.

Read More