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Origin of especially

Middle English word dating back to 1350–1400; see origin at especial, -ly
Can be confusedespecially specially (see synonym study at the current entry) (see usage note at special)

Synonyms for especially

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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 Middle West, 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.

Usage note

See special. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for especially

Contemporary Examples of especially

Historical Examples of especially

British Dictionary definitions for especially


  1. in particular; specificallyfor everyone's sake, especially your children's
  2. very muchespecially 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

Word Origin and History for especially

c.1400, from especial + -ly (2).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper