Definition of exceptional in English:

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Pronunciation: /ɪkˈsɛpʃ(ə)n(ə)l/
Pronunciation: /ɛkˈsɛpʃ(ə)n(ə)l/


1Unusual; not typical: late claims will only be accepted in exceptional circumstances
More example sentences
  • It can only be displaced by unusual or exceptional circumstances.
  • While superficially complex, this was not an exceptional case.
  • There are rare and exceptional circumstances in existence in this case.
unusual, uncommon, abnormal, atypical, extraordinary, out of the ordinary, out of the way, rare, singular, unprecedented, unexpected, surprising;
strange, odd, queer, bizarre, freakish, anomalous, peculiar, inconsistent, deviant, divergent, aberrant, unheard of;
British  out of the common
informal weird, way out, freaky, something else
dated seldom
rare unexampled
1.1Unusually good; outstanding: a child of exceptional ability
More example sentences
  • Some autistic children show, at an unusually early age, exceptional abilities in music, graphic art or arithmetic.
  • The Savage bolt action has always provided outstanding accuracy and exceptional value for the money.
  • She also had the exceptional ability to recall vividly small incidents in her life, and recount them without any exaggeration.
outstanding, extraordinary, remarkable, unusually good, special, especial, excellent, phenomenal, prodigious;
unequalled, unparalleled, unrivalled, unsurpassed, unsurpassable, unexcelled, peerless, matchless, second to none, in a league of their own, first-rate, first-class, of the first order, of the first water
informal A1, top-notch, tip-top, stellar


(usually exceptionals)
An item in a company’s accounts arising from its normal activity but much larger or smaller than usual. Compare with extraordinary.
Example sentences
  • This drop in operating profit caused pre-tax profit before accounting for exceptionals to fall from a profit of £59.1m last year into a loss of £2m this time.
  • The local management is hoping for a better full year out-turn than last year, but it is not stated whether this is before or after exceptionals are taken into account.
  • For the six months to June 30, analysts are forecasting pre-tax profits before exceptionals of £13.6m against £12.1m last time, with earnings per share of 20.8p, and dividend per share of 11.9p.



Pronunciation: /ɪksɛpʃ(ə)ˈnalɪti/
Pronunciation: /ɛksɛpʃ(ə)ˈnalɪti/
Example sentences
  • But the only exceptionality that really matters-since all nations are in their way sui generis-is the configuration that has founded its global hegemony.
  • So then we have a comedic genre whose best work exemplifies the genre itself, and a science fiction genre whose best work is based on exceptionality from the genre.
  • But the story of the asylum seekers in Papua and New Guinea is also relevant because it demonstrates the exceptionality of the present.

Words that rhyme with exceptional

conceptional, perceptional

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: ex|cep¦tion¦al

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