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[ih-spesh-uh-lee] /ɪˈspɛʃ ə li/
particularly; exceptionally; markedly:
Be especially watchful.
Origin of especially
1350-1400; Middle English; see especial, -ly
Can be confused
especially, specially, specialty (see synonym study at the current entry)
signally, notably; mainly. Especially, chiefly, particularly, principally refer to those cases that seem to be significant. Especially and particularly single out the most prominent case or example (often in order to particularize a general statement): Winter is especially severe on old people. Corn grows well in the Middle West, particularly in Iowa. Chiefly and principally imply that the general statement applies to a majority of the cases in question, and have a somewhat comparative force: Owls fly chiefly at night. Crime occurs principally in large cities.
Usage note
See special. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for especially
  • You have to be especially charismatic and inviting.
  • The famous horses of Ferghana were especially valued .
  • Oysters are nutritious and of easy digestibility, especially when eaten raw.
  • The window for movie licensing is very tight, and the window for publishing especially is getting tighter and tighter.
  • Quite a revolutionary concept, especially in the early 1960s.
  • The use of wood, especially walnut and mahogany, was a main design feature of that era.
  • Getting flu shots to more people, especially health care workers in geriatric facilities, also keeps unvaccinated people safer.
  • This isn't especially surprising, but it is worth mentioning.
  • The plant is especially showy in a glazed chocolate brown pot.
  • The pictures are especially convincing.
British Dictionary definitions for especially


in particular; specifically: for everyone's sake, especially your children's
very much: especially useful for vegans
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for especially

c.1400, from especial + -ly (2).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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