existing as the only one or as the sole example; single; solitary in type or characteristics: a unique copy of an ancient manuscript.
having no like or equal; unparalleled; incomparable: Bach was unique in his handling of counterpoint.
limited in occurrence to a given class, situation, or area: a species unique to Australia.
limited to a single outcome or result; without alternative possibilities: Certain types of problems have unique solutions.
not typical; unusual: She has a very unique smile.
the embodiment of unique characteristics; the only specimen of a given kind: The unique is also the improbable.
The earliest meanings of unique when it entered English around the beginning of the 17th century were “single, sole” and “having no equal.” By the mid-19th century unique had developed a wider meaning, “not typical, unusual,” and it is in this wider sense that it is compared: The foliage on the late-blooming plants is more unique than that on the earlier varieties. The comparison of so-called absolutes in senses that are not absolute is standard in all varieties of speech and writing.
See also a1, complete, perfect.
- u·nique·ly, adverb
- u·nique·ness, noun
- non·u·nique, adjective
- non·u·nique·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use unique in a sentence
TikTok keeps millions of users glued to their screens, and offers unique opportunities for brands to promote their products and go viral by using TikTok for business.
We asked them why they wanted to use us, and how their needs are unique.Are you ready to start traveling for work again? TripActions’ CEO is banking on it | Michal Lev-Ram, writer | September 15, 2020 | Fortune
Our database is filled with thousands of big brands, brands you know, websites you visit every day that are struggling with getting their unique, indexable URLs indexed by Google.
In March, the site had 68 million unique users, 136% more than March 2019, according to Comscore.‘We’ve really reset our floor’: How The Atlantic gained 300,000 new subscribers in the past 12 months | Max Willens | September 10, 2020 | Digiday
In typical Apple style, the mask looks unique with large coverings on the top and bottom for the wearer’s nose and chin.Apple has developed special face masks for employees | Verne Kopytoff | September 9, 2020 | Fortune
Prevalence depends on context, and sometimes unique advantages outweigh the genetic costs.Mongooses, Meerkats, and Ants, Oh My! Why Some Animals Keep Mating All in the Family | Helen Thompson | December 29, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
The most exciting and thrillingly unique artist to surface in 2014.The 10 Best Albums of 2014: Taylor Swift, Sia, Run the Jewels, and More | Marlow Stern | December 28, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Like Edgar, he remembers a unique time when American rappers came down and performed at the Primer Festival de Rap Cubano.
Christmas is unique in that it is a global holiday celebrated all over the world by humanity.
But that was probably the least unique thing about her childhood.Jena Malone’s Long, Strange Trip From Homelessness to Hollywood Stardom | Marlow Stern | December 22, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
The order of meals at Lane End was somewhat peculiar even then, and would now be almost unique.Hilda Lessways | Arnold Bennett
They are unique; that lady there is the Du Barry—a portrait worth, alone, six thousand francs.Checkmate | Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
It is these unique coincidences and recurrences that make it so easy to find relations between these sovereigns.Assimilative Memory | Marcus Dwight Larrowe (AKA Prof. A. Loisette)
It is the one which is sometimes called in books on economics the case of an unique monopoly.The Unsolved Riddle of Social Justice | Stephen Leacock
Oh that their ranks could be kept filled and that a mould so unique was being used to its fullest in forming new regulars.Gallipoli Diary, Volume I | Ian Hamilton
British Dictionary definitions for unique
being the only one of a particular type; single; sole
without equal or like; unparalleled
informal very remarkable or unusual
leading to only one result: the sum of two integers is unique
having precisely one value: the unique positive square root of 4 is 2
- uniquely, adverb
- uniqueness, noun
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