special

[spesh-uhl]
adjective
1.
of a distinct or particular kind or character: a special kind of key.
2.
being a particular one; particular, individual, or certain: You'd better call the special number.
3.
pertaining or peculiar to a particular person, thing, instance, etc.; distinctive; unique: the special features of a plan.
4.
having a specific or particular function, purpose, etc.: a special messenger.
5.
distinguished or different from what is ordinary or usual: a special occasion; to fix something special.
6.
extraordinary; exceptional, as in amount or degree; especial: special importance.
7.
being such in an exceptional degree; particularly valued: a special friend.
8.
pertaining to people with singular needs or disabilities, or to their education: disabled students with special needs; state funding for special schools.
noun
9.
a special person or thing.
10.
a train used for a particular purpose, occasion, or the like.
11.
a special edition of a newspaper.
12.
Theater. a spotlight reserved for a particular area, property, actor, etc.: Give me the coffin special.
13.
a temporary, arbitrary reduction in the price of regularly stocked goods, especially food; a particularly worthwhile offer or price: The special this week is on sirloin steaks.
14.
Television. a single program not forming part of a regular series.

Origin:
1175–1225; Middle English (adj.) < Latin speciālis of a given species, equivalent to speci(ēs) species + -ālis -al1; see especial

specially, adverb
interspecial, adjective
nonspecial, adjective, noun
nonspecially, adverb
superspecial, adjective, noun

especially, specially, specialty (see synonym study at especially).


5. singular. Special, particular, specific refer to something pointed out for attention and consideration. Special means given unusual treatment because of being uncommon: a special sense of a word. Particular implies something selected from the others of its kind and set off from them for attention: a particular variety of orchid. Specific implies plain and unambiguous indication of a particular instance, example, etc.: a specific instance of cowardice.


1. general.


In American English the adjective special is overwhelmingly more common than especial in all senses: He will be of special help if you can't understand the documentation. The reverse is true of the adverbs; here especially is by far the more common: He will be of great help, especially if you have trouble understanding the documentation. Only when the sense “specifically” is intended is specially more idiomatic: The machine was specially designed for use by a left-handed operator.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
special (ˈspɛʃəl)
 
adj
1.  distinguished, set apart from, or excelling others of its kind
2.  (prenominal) designed or reserved for a particular purpose: a special tool for working leather
3.  not usual or commonplace
4.  (prenominal) particular or primary: his special interest was music
5.  denoting or relating to the education of physically or mentally handicapped children: a special school
 
n
6.  a special person or thing, such as an extra edition of a newspaper or a train reserved for a particular purpose
7.  a dish or meal given prominence, esp at a low price, in a café, etc
8.  slang (Austral) history a convict given special treatment on account of his education, social class, etc
9.  short for special constable
10.  informal (Austral), (NZ), (US), (Canadian) an item in a store that is advertised at a reduced price; a loss leader
 
vb , -cials, -cialling, -cialled
11.  informal (NZ) to advertise and sell (an item) at a reduced price: we are specialling butter this week
 
[C13: from Old French especial, from Latin speciālis individual, special, from speciēs appearance, species]
 
 
'specially
 
adv
 
'specialness
 
n

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

special
early 13c., "better than ordinary," from O.Fr. especial, from L. specialis "individual, particular," from species "appearance, kind, sort" (see species). Meaning "marked off from others by some distinguishing quality" is recorded from c.1300. In M.E., also as a noun, meaning
"sweetheart, lover." Meaning "special train" is attested from 1866. Special effects first attested 1951. Special interests in U.S. political sense is from 1910. Special pleading first recorded 1680s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
They put a specially reinforced jumbo-sized mirror into the elephants'
  enclosure.
Each edition is specially adapted reflect the lives and cultures of kids living
  in that area.
Researchers say that a specially designed device should be able to draw power
  from a strong magnetic field permeating a room.
The genes specially selected from the spiders are the silk-making genes.
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