- 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.
Origin of 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.
Examples from the Web for uniqueness
This uniqueness is a trait that she attributes to her early success as a dominatrix.Whip It: Secrets of a Dominatrix
November 25, 2014
For comfortable egalitarians of all stripes, the uniqueness of black America is an inconvenient truth.Rand Paul’s Comments on GOP Voter-ID Laws Mark a Turning Point
May 13, 2014
It tackled issues with that much creativity and honesty and uniqueness and bravery.'Glee' 100th Episode: The Sad Ballad of an Elderly Trainwreck
March 19, 2014
It is a unique trajectory, but hopefully I can capitalize on its uniqueness.Daniel Radcliffe on ‘Kill Your Darlings,’ Love Scenes, and What’s Next
October 15, 2013
Somewhere your uniqueness will be challenged and you will be faced with a choice—stick to your guns or eat your ego.How to Write Groundhog Day: 10 Rules for Screenwriters
October 20, 2012
Due chiefly to the ideas about God are its uniqueness and its force.Understanding the Scriptures
The main point here is that so often brought forward, of the uniqueness of remorse.Gloria Crucis
J. H. Beibitz
But at least the uniqueness of it shall here have due celebration.A History of English Literature
But to speak of the cause is to imply a uniqueness which does not exist.Mysticism and Logic and Other Essays
In what then do these unities differ from the Uniqueness (or Monad)?Plotinos: Complete Works, v. 2
- being the only one of a particular type; single; sole
- without equal or like; unparalleled
- informal very remarkable or unusual
- leading to only one resultthe sum of two integers is unique
- having precisely one valuethe unique positive square root of 4 is 2
Word Origin and History for uniqueness
c.1600, "single, solitary," from French unique, from Latin unicus "single, sole," from unus "one" (see one). Meaning "forming the only one of its kind" is attested from 1610s; erroneous sense of "remarkable, uncommon" is attested from mid-19c.