unique

unique
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.
n.
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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  • unique — [ ynik ] adj. • 1480; lat. unicus, de unus « un » I ♦ (Sens quantitatif) 1 ♦ (Avant ou après le nom) Qui est un seul, n est pas accompagné d autres du même genre. REM. Unique a plus de force placé après le nom; il ne peut alors être remplacé par… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • unique — 1. This is one of a handful of words that give rise to strong feelings. Its primary meaning is ‘having no like or equal, peculiar to an individual’: • Throughout these fluctuations of fortune, Edith s unique teaching style was getting more finely …   Modern English usage

  • unique — Unique. adj. de tout genre. Seul. Fils unique, frere unique du Roy. unique heritier. le phenix est unique en son espece. vous estes l unique de ce sentiment là. on ne trouve plus ce livre, j en ay l unique exemplaire qui reste. la charge de… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Unique II — Unique II, vorher Unique 2, war ein österreichisches Eurodanceprojekt, das in den 1990er Jahren mit der Coverversion zu Break My Stride von Matthew Wilder auch international große Erfolge feiern konnte. Unique II wurde 1992 von den beiden… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • unique — UK US /juːˈniːk/ adjective ► something that is unique is unusual or the only one of its type: »Fast growing companies are in a unique position to attract the best candidates. »Over the past 15 years, she has made a unique contribution to the… …   Financial and business terms

  • Unique 2 — Unique II, vorher Unique 2, war ein österreichisches Eurodanceprojekt, das in den 1990er Jahren mit der Coverversion zu Break My Stride von Matthew Wilder auch international große Erfolge feiern konnte. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Geschichte 2… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Unique — steht für: Jenaer Studierenden Zeitschrift mit den Schwerpunkten Interkulturalität und Politik, siehe Unique (Zeitschrift) ehemaliger Name der Betreibergesellschaft des Flughafens Zürich,siehe Flughafen Zürich AG Unique (Cyclecar), britische… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • unique — unique·ly; unique·ness; bi·unique; unique; …   English syllables

  • unique — [yo͞o nēk′] adj. [Fr < L unicus, single < unus,ONE] 1. one and only; single; sole [a unique specimen] 2. having no like or equal; unparalleled [a unique achievement] 3. highly unusual, extraordinary, rare, etc.: a common usage still… …   English World dictionary

  • Unique — U*nique , a. [F. unique; cf. It. unico; from L. unicus, from unus one. See {One}.] Being without a like or equal; unmatched; unequaled; unparalleled; single in kind or excellence; sole. {U*nique ly}, adv. {U*nique ness}, n. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Unique — U*nique , n. A thing without a like; something unequaled or unparalleled. [R.] [1913 Webster] The phenix, the unique pf birds. De Quincey. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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