• 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.
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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

Examples from the Web for exceptionally

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • This pleased Paula exceptionally well and she said he must sing it to her often again.

    Moni the Goat-Boy

    Johanna Spyri

  • At the place where this was noticed, however, the current was not exceptionally swift.

  • Exceptionally one finds old men of 80 who are still capable.

  • "Exceptionally beautiful; exceptionally admirable," he corrected.

    The Lion's Skin

    Rafael Sabatini

  • One that is exceptionally rich in oxygen, as is true of all the spheres we handle.

British Dictionary definitions for exceptionally


  1. forming an exception; not ordinary
  2. having much more than average intelligence, ability, or skill
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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 exceptionally


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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper