special

Definitions

General English

General Science

  • adjective for one particular purpose

Banking

  • adjective better than usual

Investing

  • adjective better than usual
    referring to one particular thing

Marketing

  • noun a product which a retailer buys for a special purpose, e.g. a premium offer

Media Studies

Slang

  • adjective slow-witted, foolish. A playground term of abuse from the notion of children ‘with special needs’.

Travel

  • noun a particular dish on a menu

Origin & History of “special”

Latin speciēs originally denoted the ‘outward aspect’, the ‘look’ of something (it was derived from specere ‘look’, source of English spectacle, spectator, spy, etc). It later evolved metaphorically to ‘type, kind’, and in that sense was adopted by English as species (16th c.) (spice is ultimately the same word). From it was derived the adjective speciālis ‘of a particular type’, which has given English special (especial (14th c.) came via Old French especial). other derivatives have given English specific (17th c.), specify (13th c.), specimen (17th c.), and specious (17th c.) (from Latin speciōsus ‘good-looking’).
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