[ ik-sep-shuh-nl ]
See synonyms for: exceptionalexceptionally on Thesaurus.com

  1. forming an exception or rare instance; unusual; extraordinary: The warm weather was exceptional for January.

  2. unusually excellent; superior: an exceptional violinist.

  1. Education. (of a child)

    • being intellectually gifted.

    • being physically or especially mentally disabled to an extent that special schooling is required.

Origin of exceptional

First recorded in 1840–50; exception + -al1

synonym study For exceptional

1. See irregular.

Other words for exceptional

Opposites for exceptional

Other words from exceptional

  • ex·cep·tion·al·i·ty [ik-sep-shuh-nal-i-tee], /ɪkˌsɛp ʃəˈnæl ɪ ti/, noun
  • ex·cep·tion·al·ly, adverb
  • ex·cep·tion·al·ness, noun
  • non·ex·cep·tion·al, adjective
  • pre·ex·cep·tion·al, adjective
  • qua·si-ex·cep·tion·al, adjective
  • su·per·ex·cep·tion·al, adjective

Words that may be confused with exceptional

Words Nearby exceptional

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use exceptional in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for exceptional


/ (ɪkˈsɛpʃənəl) /

  1. forming an exception; not ordinary

  2. having much more than average intelligence, ability, or skill

Derived forms of exceptional

  • exceptionally, adverb

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