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outstanding, ordinary, average, mediocre


TOEFL 3, Excellence and Eminence, Extremes and Pinnacles



How to pronounce exceptional (audio)


Dictionary definition of exceptional

Standing out from the norm or surpassing average expectations in terms of quality, ability, or characteristics.
"The athlete's exceptional performance earned her a gold medal at the Olympics."

Detailed meaning of exceptional

When describing a person, it implies possessing extraordinary skills, talents, or qualities that set them apart from others. Similarly, when used to describe an object, event, or situation, it suggests that it is remarkable, uncommon, or outstanding in some way. Exceptional can also convey the notion of rarity or uniqueness, indicating that something is unusual or exceptional in its kind. It denotes a level of excellence or superiority that exceeds ordinary standards or expectations. Whether applied to individuals, achievements, experiences, or objects, the adjective "exceptional" conveys a sense of exceptionalism and represents a noteworthy departure from the ordinary or average.

Example sentences containing exceptional

1. The restaurant received rave reviews for its exceptional cuisine and impeccable service.
2. His exceptional intellect and problem-solving abilities set him apart from his peers.
3. The artist's exceptional talent was evident in the intricate details of her paintings.
4. The company's exceptional growth in revenue exceeded all expectations.
5. The student's exceptional academic achievements earned her a scholarship to a prestigious university.
6. The sunset over the ocean was truly exceptional, with vibrant hues of orange and pink.

History and etymology of exceptional

The adjective 'exceptional' stems from the Latin word 'exceptionalis,' which is formed from 'exceptio,' as discussed earlier, meaning 'exclusion' or 'exception,' and the suffix '-alis,' denoting 'pertaining to' or 'related to.' This etymology signifies something that is related to or characterized by exceptions or exclusions. When we describe something as 'exceptional,' we are essentially highlighting its extraordinary nature, indicating that it stands out from the ordinary or average, and often surpasses expectations in terms of quality, ability, or characteristics. The Latin roots of 'exceptional' thus emphasize its association with being extraordinary or exceptional in comparison to the norm.

Quiz: Find the meaning of exceptional

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Further usage examples of exceptional

1. The team demonstrated exceptional teamwork and coordination during the game.
2. The exceptional customer service provided by the hotel staff made guests feel valued and appreciated.
3. The novel was praised for its exceptional storytelling and rich character development.
4. The scientist's groundbreaking research made an exceptional contribution to the field of medicine.
5. The concert was an exceptional experience, with breathtaking performances and a captivating atmosphere.
6. Her exceptional talent in painting left everyone in awe at the art exhibition.
7. The view from the mountaintop was truly exceptional, with a breathtaking sunset.
8. The exceptional craftsmanship of the antique furniture impressed collectors.
9. His exceptional leadership skills made him the ideal candidate for the job.
10. The exceptional clarity of the diamond made it a valuable gemstone.
11. This exceptional restaurant is known for its exquisite culinary creations.
12. She possesses exceptional intelligence, evident in her academic achievements.
13. The orchestra delivered an exceptional performance, moving the audience to tears.
14. The athlete's exceptional speed set a new world record in the 100-meter sprint.
15. The exceptional customer service at the hotel made our stay memorable.
16. The exceptional aroma of freshly baked bread filled the bakery.
17. The exceptional aroma of freshly brewed coffee greeted us at the cafe.
18. His exceptional dedication to his work earned him a promotion.
19. The exceptional beauty of the waterfall attracted tourists from far and wide.
20. The exceptional architecture of the historic cathedral was a marvel to behold.

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