uniquely, adv.uniqueness, n.
/yooh neek"/, adj.
1. existing as the only one or as the sole example; single; solitary in type or characteristics: a unique copy of an ancient manuscript.
2. having no like or equal; unparalleled; incomparable: Bach was unique in his handling of counterpoint.
3. limited in occurrence to a given class, situation, or area: a species unique to Australia.
4. limited to a single outcome or result; without alternative possibilities: Certain types of problems have unique solutions.
5. not typical; unusual: She has a very unique smile.
6. the embodiment of unique characteristics; the only specimen of a given kind: The unique is also the improbable.
[1595-1605; < F < L unicus, equiv. to un(us) one + -icus -IC]
Usage. Many authors of usage guides, editors, teachers, and others feel strongly that such "absolute" words as complete, equal, perfect, and especially UNIQUE cannot be compared because of their "meaning": a word that denotes an absolute condition cannot be described as denoting more or less than that absolute condition. However, all such words have undergone semantic development and are used in a number of senses, some of which can be compared by words like more, very, most, absolutely, somewhat, and totally and some of which cannot.
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.

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Universalium. 2010.

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