Surpassing what is common or usual; exceptional: a special occasion; a special treat. Distinct among others of a kind: a special type of paint; a special medication for arthritis. Primary: His special satisfaction comes from volunteer work. Peculiar to a specific person or thing; particular: my own special chair; the special features of a computer. Having a limited or specific function, application, or scope: a special role in the mission. Arranged for a particular occasion or purpose: a special visit from her daughter. Regarded with particular affection and admiration: a special friend. Additional; extra: a special holiday flight. Something arranged, issued, or appropriated to a particular service or occasion: rode to work on the commuter special. A featured attraction, such as a reduced price: a special on salmon. A single television production that features a specific work, a given topic, or a particular performer.