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Line breaks: unique
Pronunciation: /juːˈniːk

Definition of unique in English:


1Being the only one of its kind; unlike anything else: the situation was unique in British politics original and unique designs
More example sentences
  • His logic is still unique, but unlike his huge stage, his canvas hasn't broadened.
  • Only mankind is unique, in that unlike the fox, he kills his own species by the tens of thousands.
  • The brain is unique in that, unlike any other organ, it can tell you about itself.
distinctive, individual, special, especial, idiosyncratic, quirky, eccentric, isolated;
rare, uncommon, unusual, peculiar, novel, strange, odd;
informal one-off
1.1 (unique to) Belonging or connected to (one particular person, place, or thing): a style of architecture that is unique to Portugal
More example sentences
  • However I could not spot any items that would be unique to this venue.
  • The Sierra Nevada is particularly rich in them, with 50 varieties unique to the mountains.
  • It is a myth to claim that this is an experience unique to expatriate life.
peculiar, specific, particular, found only in;
characteristic of, typical of
1.2Particularly remarkable, special, or unusual: a unique opportunity to see the spectacular Bolshoi Ballet
More example sentences
  • However, by the opening of his act we knew that this was to be a remarkably unique performance.
  • As it is rarely seen outside Japan this is a unique opportunity for people in New Zealand to view it.
  • This is a unique opportunity to get hands on experience of museum work.


archaic Back to top  
A unique person or thing: some of Lamb’s writings were so memorably beautiful as to be uniques in their class
More example sentences
  • One of Quebec's best-known impressionist painters, Sammoun is represented in the United States by Marco Fine Art of El Segundo, Calif., which also publishes the artist's hand-painted uniques in editions of 200 pieces on canvas.
  • The second-order jackknife estimator incorporates the number of uniques, duplicates, and the number of quadrats sampled.
  • Sammoun's limited editions are hand-painted uniques in editions of 100, plus proofs.


early 17th century: from French, from Latin unicus, from unus 'one'.


There is a set of adjectivesincluding unique, complete, equal, infinite, and perfect—whose core meaning embraces a mathematically absolute concept and which therefore, according to a traditional argument, cannot be modified by adverbs such as really, quite, or very. For example, since the core meaning of unique (from Latin ‘one’) is ‘being only one of its kind’, it is logically impossible, the argument goes, to submodify it: it either is ‘unique’ or it is not, and there are no in-between stages. In practice the situation in the language is more complex than this. Words like unique have a core sense but they often also have a secondary, less precise sense: in this case, the meaningvery remarkable or unusual’, as in a really unique opportunity. In its secondary sense, unique does not relate to an absolute concept, and so the use of submodifying adverbs is grammatically acceptable.



[as submodifier]: a uniquely British quality
More example sentences
  • Does he truly believe his opinion is of any uniquely special value?
  • Whatever the reason, Jeremy says, northern dialects remain uniquely distinctive.
  • The governments of states were said to be uniquely powerful for two reasons.


Example sentences
  • Because of the uniqueness of each individual, what is pleasurable for one person may not be for another.
  • In spite of this, the actors themselves bring creativity and uniqueness to their characters.
  • Yes, it can be an empowering feeling to walk amongst the everyday people and project your uniqueness.

Definition of unique in:

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