- forming an exception or rare instance; unusual; extraordinary: The warm weather was exceptional for January.
- unusually excellent; superior: an exceptional violinist.
- Education. (of a child)
- being intellectually gifted.
- being physically or especially mentally disabled to an extent that special schooling is required.
Origin of exceptional
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1. uncommon, singular, strange, unnatural, aberrant, anomalous. See irregular.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for exceptional
For them, at least, the United States remains the exceptional nation, the indispensable one you turn to in time of trouble.Indefensible but Indispensable America
December 12, 2014
Jackson was an exceptional math and science student; the dreaded Bartlett was one of his favorite professors.Stonewall Jackson, VMI’s Most Embattled Professor
S. C. Gwynne
November 29, 2014
As the doors opened, there were black people who were exceptional opening those doors.Herbie Hancock Holds Forth
November 8, 2014
I do think the Holocaust is exceptional in all kinds of ways.Martin Amis Talks About Nazis, Novels, and Cute Babies
Ronald K. Fried
October 9, 2014
Sorokko now has “a couple of hundred [pieces] of exceptional quality,” she says.Tatiana Sorokko Is the Queen of Vintage Couture
October 8, 2014
Every year he adds some fresh decoration, some new and exceptional scene.De Libris: Prose and Verse
Of course there's a horde of applicants, but you're exceptional; you know that.The Bacillus of Beauty
His next move proved that his cunning was of an exceptional order.Thoroughbreds
W. A. Fraser
But then he is an exceptional and note-worthy man--one among ten thousand.In the Valley
What had any of these people done that was noble, exceptional, distinguished?The Greater Inclination
- forming an exception; not ordinary
- having much more than average intelligence, ability, or skill
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
Word Origin and History for exceptional
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper