from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Of special importance or significance; exceptional: an occasion of especial joy.
  • adj. Relating to or directed toward a particular person, group, or purpose: called his father with especial birthday wishes; gave especial attention to the decorations.
  • adj. Peculiar to the individual; characteristic: She has an especial fondness for mushrooms.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of exceptional importance or significance.
  • adj. Particular to an individual.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Distinguished among others of the same class or kind; special; concerning a species or a single object; principal; particular.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Of a particular kind; distinguished from others of the same class or kind; particular; eminent; principal; chief: as, in an especial manner or degree.
  • Synonyms See special.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. surpassing what is common or usual or expected


Middle English, from Old French, from Latin speciālis, of a kind, from speciēs, species; see spek- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English, via Old French, from Latin specialis, from species ("appearance, form, beauty"), from specere ("to look"). Related to English special and species. (Wiktionary)


  • I lived with him a life of happiness and delight for a full month, at the end of which I asked his leave340 to go on foot to the bazar and buy me certain especial stuffs and he gave me permission.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • I call especial attention to this forthcoming article because it abounds in accurately observed and skilfully generalized facts; and because it is most suggestive on the whole subject of the health of women, and the causes of its failure.

    The Education of American Girls

  • I call your especial attention to the bulletin of the Bureau of Labor which gives a statement of the methods of treating the unemployed in European countries, as this is a subject which in Germany, for instance, is treated in connection with making provision for worn-out and crippled workmen.

    State of the Union Address (1790-2001)

  • I call your especial attention to the desirability of giving to the members of the Life Saving Service pensions such as are given to firemen and policemen in all our great cities.

    State of the Union Address (1790-2001)

  • Congress December 7, 1911, I called especial attention to the assembling of the Opium Conference at The Hague, to the fact that that conference was to review all pertinent municipal laws relating to the opium and allied evils, and certainly all international rules regarding these evils, and to the - fact that it seemed to me most essential that the

    State of the Union Address (1790-2001)

  • I call your especial attention to the unsatisfactory condition of our foreign mail service, which, because of the lack of American steamship lines is now largely done through foreign lines, and which, particularly so far as South and Central America are concerned, is done in a manner which constitutes a serious barrier to the extension of our commerce.

    State of the Union Address (1790-2001)

  • Let me in especial draw your attention to one item in it which is significant of the new outlook.

    The Progress and Prospects in Britain

  • There was somebody in especial – a man you cared for and might have married if he had been a finer sort of chap than he turned out to be? '

    Lady Bridget in the Never-Never Land

  • The Ancient Mariner was one, and there were some of Rudyard Kipling's and he loved The Idylls of the King – in especial Guinivere.

    Lady Bridget in the Never-Never Land

  • Such are the terms of the marriage contract: and you in especial must respect them.

    Lady Bridget in the Never-Never Land


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