1. Being an exception; uncommon: This town is exceptional for the region in having a high tax rate.
2. Well above average; extraordinary: an exceptional memory.
3. Deviating widely from a norm, as of physical or mental ability: special educational provisions for exceptional children.
ex·cep′tion·ali·ty, ex·ception·al·ness n.
ex·ception·al·ly (-shə-nălĭ-tē) adv.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.