Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

exceptional

adjective
     
ex‧cep‧tion‧al
1 unusually good [= outstanding]:
an exceptional student
exceptional bravery
2 unusual and likely not to happen often:
This is an exceptional case; I've never seen anything like it before.
Promotion in the first year is only given in exceptional circumstances.
see usage note unusual
WORD CHOICE: WORD CHOICE:

unusual, strange, odd, bizarre, extraordinary, exceptional, remarkable
Unusual is neither approving nor disapproving a suit made of unusual material an unusual name Her response was unusual.Strange and odd mean unusual in a way that you cannot understand. They are sometimes used to show slight disapproval or distrust a very strange man I found his attitude a bit odd.Bizarre means very unusual, especially in a way that you think is amusing or that is hard to believe a bizarre haircut Extraordinary can be approving or disapproving, but suggests approval when it is used to describe a person What an extraordinary idea! (can suggest you strongly disagree) My mother was an extraordinary woman (=very impressive, talented etc).Exceptional and remarkable often mean unusually good or impressive a writer of exceptional talent a remarkable filmSee also unusual

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