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[uhn-yoo-zhoo-uh l, -yoozh-wuh l] /ʌnˈyu ʒu əl, -ˈyuʒ wəl/
not usual, common, or ordinary; uncommon in amount or degree; exceptional:
an unusual sound; an unusual hobby; an unusual response.
Origin of unusual
First recorded in 1575-85; un-1 + usual
Related forms
unusually, adverb
unusualness, noun
extraordinary, remarkable; rare, strange, singular, curious, queer, odd. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for unusual
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Now, Mr. Bines, I like him and I dare say you've done the best thing for him, unusual as it was.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • This is certainly a very high and unusual devise to so young a creature.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • This was an unusual event, as he rarely interfered with them during play hours.

    Life in London Edwin Hodder
  • You have not done a stroke of work all this morning; quite an unusual thing for you, George.

    Life in London Edwin Hodder
  • Gerald Raymount was a man of an unusual combination of qualities.

    Weighed and Wanting George MacDonald
British Dictionary definitions for unusual


out of the ordinary; uncommon; extraordinary: an unusual design
Derived Forms
unusually, adverb
unusualness, noun
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
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Word Origin and History for unusual

1580s, from un- (1) "not" + usual. Related: Unusually.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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