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Origin of unique
usage note for unique
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.
OTHER WORDS FROM uniqueu·nique·ly, adverbu·nique·ness, nounnon·u·nique, adjectivenon·u·nique·ly, adverb
Example sentences from the Web for unique
If well done, a video game is uniquely suited to tell the story of a television show.‘Game of Thrones’ Interactive FanFiction: Whoops, My Friend Was Speared in the Throat|Alec Kubas-Meyer|December 13, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Though, at their best, the Van Winkle whiskies are excellent, Pappy is not uniquely great.
But I feel like films are uniquely suited towards addressing paradox, recursiveness, and worlds-within-worlds.Christopher Nolan Uncut: On ‘Interstellar,’ Ben Affleck’s Batman, and the Future of Mankind|Marlow Stern|November 10, 2014|DAILY BEAST
I think Mudbloods does that in a uniquely appropriate way, but there are other reasons it fits.
But the Madonna videos—particularly “Express Yourself” and “Vogue”—are uniquely spectacular.
Schools are uniquely situated to be part of the solution to student drug use.What Works: Schools Without Drugs|United States Department of Education
She slightly overstressed the internal "h's," and her accent was Welsh, but uniquely soft.Mushroom Town|Oliver Onions
Russia is lucky to go through all this now – because it will be uniquely positioned, as a result.After the Rain|Sam Vaknin
As a book reviewer, to judge from the specimens rescued from the Eagle files by his latest editors, he was uniquely childish.Plum Pudding|Christopher Morley
If Lady Calmady had lighted upon the right, the uniquely right, woman—perhaps—yes.The History of Sir Richard Calmady|Lucas Malet
British Dictionary definitions for unique
- leading to only one resultthe sum of two integers is unique
- having precisely one valuethe unique positive square root of 4 is 2