- being intellectually gifted.
- being physically or especially mentally disabled to an extent that special schooling is required.
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.
Jackson was an exceptional math and science student; the dreaded Bartlett was one of his favorite professors.
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|DAILY BEAST
Sorokko now has “a couple of hundred [pieces] of exceptional quality,” she says.
A unique, exceptional couturier for a Maison that always challenged and innovated the world of fashion.
The second is that such evil is compatible, and even appears to ally itself easily, with exceptional powers of will and intellect.Shakespearean Tragedy|A. C. Bradley
However, she was predisposed in favor of the cyclist, whose manners were exceptional.The Automobile Girls Along the Hudson|Laura Dent Crane
Mrs. Oldham nodded her head in modest acceptation of the fact that she was the exceptional woman.The Silver Butterfly|Mrs. Wilson Woodrow
It is no concern of the artist whether it be exceptional or of every-day occurrence; some kinds of excellence can never be common.Windows, A Book About Stained & Painted Glass|Lewis F. Day
The conception of energy seems, indeed, to afford an exceptional opportunity to naturalism.The Approach to Philosophy|Ralph Barton Perry