• synonyms


See more synonyms for exceptional 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.
  3. Education. (of a child)
    1. being intellectually gifted.
    2. being physically or especially mentally disabled to an extent that special schooling is required.
Show More

Origin of exceptional

First recorded in 1840–50; exception + -al1
Related formsex·cep·tion·al·i·ty, nounex·cep·tion·al·ly, adverbex·cep·tion·al·ness, nounnon·ex·cep·tion·al, adjectivenon·ex·cep·tion·al·ly, adverbpre·ex·cep·tion·al, adjectivepre·ex·cep·tion·al·ly, adverbqua·si-ex·cep·tion·al, adjectivequa·si-ex·cep·tion·al·ly, adverbsu·per·ex·cep·tion·al, adjectivesu·per·ex·cep·tion·al·ly, adverb
Can be confusedexceptionable exceptional


See more synonyms for exceptional on Thesaurus.com
1. uncommon, singular, strange, unnatural, aberrant, anomalous. See irregular.


2. average.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for exceptionality


  1. forming an exception; not ordinary
  2. having much more than average intelligence, ability, or skill
Show More
Derived Formsexceptionally, 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

Word Origin and History for exceptionality


1846, from exception + -al (1). Related: exceptionally.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper