Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal, Idioms, Encyclopedia.


1. Surpassing what is common or usual; exceptional: a special occasion; a special treat.
a. Distinct among others of a kind: a special type of paint; a special medication for arthritis.
b. Primary: His special satisfaction comes from volunteer work.
3. Peculiar to a specific person or thing; particular: my own special chair; the special features of a computer.
a. Having a limited or specific function, application, or scope: a special role in the mission.
b. Arranged for a particular occasion or purpose: a special visit from her daughter.
5. Regarded with particular affection and admiration: a special friend.
6. Additional; extra: a special holiday flight.
1. Something arranged, issued, or appropriated to a particular service or occasion: rode to work on the commuter special.
2. A featured attraction, such as a reduced price: a special on salmon.
3. A single television production that features a specific work, a given topic, or a particular performer.

[Middle English, from Old French especial, from Latin speciālis, from speciēs, kind; see species.]

spe′cial·ly adv.
spe′cial·ness n.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.specialness - a distinguishing traitspecialness - a distinguishing trait    
individualism, individuality, individuation - the quality of being individual; "so absorbed by the movement that she lost all sense of individuality"
foible, idiosyncrasy, mannerism - a behavioral attribute that is distinctive and peculiar to an individual
2.specialness - the quality of being particular and pertaining to a specific case or instance; "the particularity of human situations"
quality - an essential and distinguishing attribute of something or someone; "the quality of mercy is not strained"--Shakespeare
specificity - the quality of being specific rather than general; "add a desirable note of specificity to the discussion"; "the specificity of the symptoms of the disease"
specificity - the quality of being specific to a particular organism; "host specificity of a parasite"
References in periodicals archive ?
(11) Maguire seems to explain the normative specialness of my caring attitude by its descriptive specialness: my attitude is agent-relative in a descriptive way and, from this descriptive specialness, Maguire infers that it is also agent-relative in a normative way.
I sat there on my musty-smelling flip-up seat wearing the green cable-knit jumper my grandmother had knitted for me, a pair of itchy grey shorts held up by the snake belt I was particularly proud of, ankle socks and sandals on my feet, and the taste of chemically enhanced orange squash in my mouth, entranced by the specialness of this darkness-indaytime.
In the end, they pull some of the specialness and hype away from Islam's most important feast - Eid al-Fitr.
When Howie and Robertson agreed to write the book, they had three goals--to showcase rural nursing, to showcase the specialness of rural people, and to showcase Great Barrier Island's unique environment.
Following family patriarch Bill Baxley's death, they discovered their specialness arose not only from hard work and community respect but from carrying a rare disease that started to afflict almost every member of the family.
"So to come here and do it 2-0 is special for us as a team but we share that specialness with great players in our side like Dale and AB, who have been here lots of times and worked really hard to try to win games of cricket."
We do not stereotype them as a part of a "class or cohort." We did not devise programs to emphasize their "specialness." We treat them as capable and competent adults.
I also invite you to read the article on the specialness of college towns.
Are we so shallow a species that for many of us the reason is the excitement, the unique specialness? With that diminishing, are we so superficial that we give up flying?
As humans have learned about the size of the cosmos (and our not-so-central place in it), we have grappled with weighing our specialness against the possible existence of alien beings on other worlds.
We should know more of this period for it shaped our heritage, both the specialness of Scotland and what has held us together at a time when that union is under question.
This is a powerful investment behind all Coca-Cola products, showing how everyone can enjoy the specialness of an ice-cold Coca-Cola, with or without calories, with or without caffeine.

Full browser ?