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exceptional

[ik-sep-shuh-nl] /ɪkˈsɛp ʃə nl/
adjective
1.
forming an exception or rare instance; unusual; extraordinary:
The warm weather was exceptional for January.
2.
unusually excellent; superior:
an exceptional violinist.
3.
Education.
  1. being intellectually gifted.
  2. being physically or especially mentally disabled to an extent that special schooling is required.
Origin of exceptional
1840-1850
1840-50; exception + -al1
Related forms
exceptionality, noun
exceptionally, adverb
exceptionalness, noun
nonexceptional, adjective
nonexceptionally, adverb
preexceptional, adjective
preexceptionally, adverb
quasi-exceptional, adjective
quasi-exceptionally, adverb
superexceptional, adjective
superexceptionally, adverb
Can be confused
exceptionable, exceptional.
Synonyms
1. uncommon, singular, strange, unnatural, aberrant, anomalous. See irregular.
Antonyms
2. average.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for exceptional
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But it is from this very period of exceptional stability that we obtain our only scale for measuring the rate of organic change.

    Island Life Alfred Russel Wallace
  • In some cases a local French name has spread in an exceptional manner.

    The Romance of Names Ernest Weekley
  • The girl was beyond question a most rare and exceptional medium.

    From Out the Vasty Deep Mrs. Belloc Lowndes
  • No. 226 was exceptional in the position of the entrance to the tomb chamber.

    El Kab J.E. Quibell
  • It is curious that these three exceptional stones lie on the same horizonal line, having all the same specific gravity, 3.5.

British Dictionary definitions for exceptional

exceptional

/ɪkˈsɛpʃənəl/
adjective
1.
forming an exception; not ordinary
2.
having much more than average intelligence, ability, or skill
Derived Forms
exceptionally, adverb
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 exceptional

1846, from exception + -al (1). Related: exceptionally.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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22
26
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