—specially, adv./spesh"euhl/, adj.1. of a distinct or particular kind or character: a special kind of key.2. being a particular one; particular, individual, or certain: You'd better call the special number.3. pertaining or peculiar to a particular person, thing, instance, etc.; distinctive; unique: the special features of a plan.4. having a specific or particular function, purpose, etc.: a special messenger.5. distinguished or different from what is ordinary or usual: a special occasion; to fix something special.6. extraordinary; exceptional, as in amount or degree; especial: special importance.7. being such in an exceptional degree; particularly valued: a special friend.n.8. a special person or thing.9. a train used for a particular purpose, occasion, or the like.10. a special edition of a newspaper.11. Theat. a spotlight reserved for a particular area, property, actor, etc.: Give me the coffin special.12. a temporary, arbitrary reduction in the price of regularly stocked goods, esp. food; a particularly worthwhile offer or price: The special this week is on sirloin steaks.13. Television. a single program not forming part of a regular series.[1175-1225; ME (adj.) < L specialis of a given species, equiv. to speci(es) SPECIES + -alis -AL1; see ESPECIAL]Syn. 5. singular. SPECIAL, PARTICULAR, SPECIFIC refer to something pointed out for attention and consideration. SPECIAL means given unusual treatment because of being uncommon: a special sense of a word. PARTICULAR implies something selected from the others of its kind and set off from them for attention: a particular variety of orchid. SPECIFIC implies plain and unambiguous indication of a particular instance, example, etc.: a specific instance of cowardice.Ant. 1. general.Usage. In American English the adjective SPECIAL is overwhelmingly more common than ESPECIAL in all senses: He will be of special help if you can't understand the documentation. The reverse is true of the adverbs; here ESPECIALLY is by far the more common: He will be of great help, especially if you have trouble understanding the documentation. Only when the sense "specifically" is intended is SPECIALLY more idiomatic: The machine was specially designed for use by a left-handed operator.
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