American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. The delivery of a piece of mail, for an additional charge, by a special messenger rather than by scheduled delivery.
- n. uncountable A kind of postal service in which, for an extra fee, letters and packages are delivered in a highly expedited manner by a special courier.
- n. countable A particular posted letter or package which is delivered in this manner; a particular act of conveying such letters or packages to one or more recipients.
- n. countable and uncountable, idiomatic, by extension Something—whether desirable or undesirable—which is intentionally given to a specific individual or which an individual receives rapidly and unexpectedly; the personalized, direct quality of the transmission of such an item.
- n. mail that is delivered by a special carrier (for an additional charge)
““Mr. Rivington and my brother came on Tuesday expecting to stay for a week, but they had special delivery letters yesterday, and both started for New York.”
“The deliveryman handed me a special delivery parcel from the lawyer Arthur Franklin, while casting a wary glance at the blackened mailbox.”
“Down he went like a sack of meteorites addressed special delivery to gravity.”
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