View synonyms for especially


[ ih-spesh-uh-lee ]


  1. Be especially watchful when you are out walking alone.

    I love spending time outdoors, especially on sunny days.

    Synonyms: notably, mainly, signally


/ ɪˈspɛʃəlɪ /


  1. in particular; specifically

    for everyone's sake, especially your children's

  2. very much

    especially useful for vegans

“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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Usage Note

See special.
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Word History and Origins

Origin of especially1

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English; especial + -ly
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Synonym Study

Especially, chiefly, particularly, principally refer to those cases that seem to be significant. Especially and particularly single out the most prominent case or example (often in order to particularize a general statement): Winter is especially severe on old people. Corn grows well in the Midwest, particularly in Iowa. Chiefly and principally imply that the general statement applies to a majority of the cases in question and have a somewhat comparative force: Owls fly chiefly at night. Crime occurs principally in large cities.
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Example Sentences

Lots of creators have personal websites where they sell their programs or merchandise, but most of them are also highly active on Instagram, especially after TikTok’s ban scare.

Now, however, it has fewer options to experiment, especially with free services, as it tries to refocus on Firefox and a few other core projects.

This large cork board is framed in solid wood, making the structure especially strong and sturdy.

Breen says this is especially important since that approach doesn’t scale across thousands of devices and can also introduce bugs from the agent itself.

Over the years, selenium pollution has been especially tricky for coal companies to deal with, presenting expensive and long-term treatment challenges.

The benefits of incumbency are quite potent, especially in the all-important area of raising campaign funds.

It marked a groundbreaking moment in how the country viewed Jews, especially Jewish women.

Two factors made Hiram Revels especially interesting to the Washington establishment.

This is especially striking, though hardly surprising, in the case of Priebus, Mr. Outreach.

Terrorism is bad news anywhere, but especially rough on Odessa, where the city motto seems to be “make love, not war.”

He distinguished himself in several campaigns, especially in the Peninsular war, and was raised to the rank of field marshal.

Individual samples may be slightly alkaline, especially after a full meal.

Undesirable inhabitants of the country are being sent away, especially the Japanese, who are more dangerous than the Chinese.

It is especially useful with cultures upon serum media, but is applicable also to the sputum.

From that region they issue to inflict diseases, especially blindness and deafness.


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Especially Vs. Specially

What's the difference between especially and specially?

Especially means particularly or exceptionally, as in That was especially helpful or This road can be dangerous, especially when it’s icy. Specially most commonly means in a special manner or for a special purpose, as in This was specially made or You were specially chosen for this project.

Perhaps most confusingly, specially is sometimes used as a synonym of especially, though especially is much more commonly used.

Both words are adverbs. Specially is the adverb form of the adjective special. This might be the best way to remember the way specially is typically used, which is to describe something being done in a special way or for a special purpose. On the other hand, the adjective especial is not commonly used. Especially can always be used interchangeably with particularly.

Here’s an example of especially and specially used correctly in a sentence.

Example: The team worked especially hard to specially make all of these decorations in time for the event.

Want to learn more? Read the full breakdown of the difference between especially and specially.

Quiz yourself on especially vs. specially!

Should especially or specially be used in the following sentence?

I had this cake _____ made for your birthday.