Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[ih-spesh-uh l] /ɪˈspɛʃ əl/
special; exceptional; outstanding:
of no especial importance; an especial friend.
of a particular kind, or peculiar to a particular one; particular:
your especial case.
Origin of especial
1350-1400; Middle English < Middle French < Latin speciālis pertaining to a particular kind. See special
Related forms
especialness, noun
Usage note
See special. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for especial
Contemporary Examples
  • It's like those cases where conservatives approve of "our" blacks and Latinos with an especial zeal.

    The Obama Brand Michael Tomasky February 12, 2013
Historical Examples
British Dictionary definitions for especial


adjective (prenominal)
unusual; notable; exceptional: he paid especial attention to her that evening
applying to one person or thing in particular; not general; specific; peculiar: he had an especial dislike of relatives
Usage note
Especial and especially have a more limited use than special and specially. Special is always used in preference to especial when the sense is one of being out of the ordinary: a special lesson; he has been specially trained. Special is also used when something is referred to as being for a particular purpose: the word was specially underlined for you. Where an idea of pre-eminence or individuality is involved, either especial or special may be used: he is my especial (or special) friend; he is especially (or specially) good at his job. In informal English, however, special is usually preferred in all contexts
Word Origin
C14: from Old French, from Latin speciālis individual; see special
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for especial

late 14c., from Old French especial "pre-eminent, important," from Latin specialis "belonging to a particular kind or species," from species "kind" (see species).

Latin words with initial sp-, st-, sc- usually acquired an e- when borrowed by Old French. Modern French has restored the word to spécial. Originally with the same sense as special, later restricted to feelings, qualities, etc.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for especial

Word Value for especial

Scrabble Words With Friends