[ spesh-uh-lee ]
/ ˈspɛʃ ə li /
Save This Word!

in a distinct or particular way; uniquely:All our products are specially handcrafted and fabricated under our own supervision, providing you with a fully customizable storage system.
with definite intent; with a specific occasion, person, etc., in mind:Through specially arranged team activities, the children learn important social skills, including cooperation and respect for others. The travelogue was specially requested by a member of the group.
above all; especially: The climate up here is really refreshing, specially right after the heat and humidity of the plains.
Should you take this quiz on “shall” versus “should”? It should prove to be a quick challenge!
Question 1 of 6
Which form is used to state an obligation or duty someone has?

Origin of specially


non·spe·cial·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What's the difference between specially and especially?

Specially most commonly means in a special manner or for a special purpose, as in or This was specially made or You were specially chosen for this project. Especially means particularly or exceptionally, as in That was especially helpful or This road can be dangerous, especially when it’s icy.

Perhaps most confusingly, specially is sometimes used as a synonym of especially, though especially is much more commonly used.

Both words are adverbs. Specially is the adverb form of the adjective special. This might be the best way to remember the way specially is typically used, which is to describe something being done in a special way or for a special purpose. On the other hand, the adjective especial is not commonly used. Especially can always be used interchangeably with particularly.

Here’s an example of specially and especially used correctly in a sentence.

Example: The team worked especially hard to specially make all of these decorations in time for the event.

Want to learn more? Read the full breakdown of the difference between specially and especially.

Quiz yourself on specially vs. especially!

Should specially or especially be used in the following sentence?

I had this cake _____ made for your birthday.

How to use specially in a sentence