• enPR: spĕʹshəl, IPA: /ˈspɛ.ʃəl/


  1. Distinguished by a unique or unusual quality.
    a special episode of a television series
  2. Of particular personal interest or value; dear; beloved.
    Everyone is special to someone.
  3. (euphemistic) Of or related to learning or intellectual disabilities.
    special education
    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.
  5. Chief in excellence.
    • c. 1597, William Shakespeare, “The First Part of Henry the Fourth, […]”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act IV, scene iv]:
      The king hath drawn / The special head of all the land together.
  6. (military) Of or related to unconventional warfare, as in "special forces" and "special operations".
Antonyms Translations Translations Translations
  • Russian: видово́й

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. One of a rotation of meals systematically offered for a lower price at a restaurant.
    Today's special is our tuna melt on rye.
  3. (broadcasting) Unusual or exceptional episode of a series.
    Did you see the Christmas special?
  4. (British, colloquial) A special constable.
  5. Anything that is not according to normal practice, plan, or schedule, as an unscheduled run of transportation that is normally scheduled.
    Thousands came to see the special that carried the President's coffin.
  6. Any unlicensed medicine produced or obtained for a specific individual patient.
  7. (journalism) A correspondent; a journalist sent to the scene of an event to report back.
  8. (journalism) A dispatch sent back by a special correspondent.
  9. (theater) A light that illuminates a specific person or thing on the stage.
    • 2009, Steven Shelley, A Practical Guide to Stage Lighting (page 132)
      In addition to followspots, there will be three frontlight specials on Autoyokes hung on the truss to provide frontlight specials.
    • 2009, Jennifer Bringle, Lighting (page 23)
      The first is a special—a single lighting instrument that lights a particular spot on the stage. Specials generally have no color, or a more saturated color, allowing them to stand out through other lighting onstage.
Translations Translations Verb

special (specials, present participle specialing; past and past participle specialed)

  1. (nursing) To supervise a patient one-on-one.

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