special; exceptional; outstanding: of no especial importance; an especial friend.
of a particular kind, or peculiar to a particular one; particular: your especial case.

1350–1400; Middle English < Middle French < Latin speciālis pertaining to a particular kind. See special

especialness, noun

See special. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To especial
World English Dictionary
especial (ɪˈspɛʃəl)
1.  unusual; notable; exceptional: he paid especial attention to her that evening
2.  applying to one person or thing in particular; not general; specific; peculiar: he had an especial dislike of relatives
usage  Especial and especially have a more limited use than special and specially. Special is always used in preference to especial when the sense is one of being out of the ordinary: a special lesson; he has been specially trained. Special is also used when something is referred to as being for a particular purpose: the word was specially underlined for you. Where an idea of pre-eminence or individuality is involved, either especial or special may be used: he is my especial (or special) friend; he is especially (or specially) good at his job. In informal English, however, special is usually preferred in all contexts

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

late 14c., from O.Fr. especial "pre-eminent, important," from L. specialis "belonging to a particular kind or species," from species "kind" (see species). Latin words with initial sp-, st-, sc- usually acquired an e- when borrowed by O.Fr. Modern French has restored the
word to spécial. Originally with the same sense as special, later restricted to feelings, qualities, etc.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Example sentences
It usually rewards faithful lawyers of no especial political importance with
They took especial care in reproducing illustrations.
The lecture was with especial reference to the influence of nature upon the
  folk imagination.
Of course it is my especial opinion formed by living in a country where some
  have all but other nothing.
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature