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Description: Extraordinary
File name: Extraordinary

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beyond what is usual, ordinary, regular, or established:

extraordinary costs.

exceptional in character, amount, extent, degree, etc.; noteworthy; remarkable:

extraordinary speed; an extraordinary man.

(of an official, employee, etc.) outside of or additional to the ordinary staff; having a special, often temporary task or responsibility:

minister extraordinary and plenipotentiary.

Origin of extraordinary

late Middle English


1425-75; late Middle English extraordinarie extra-, ordinary

Related forms

extraordinarily [ik-strawr-dn-air-uh-lee, ek-struh-awr-] /ɪkˌstrɔr dnˈɛər ə li, ˌɛk strəˌɔr-/ (Show IPA), adverb

extraordinariness, noun

unextraordinary, adjective


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1. inordinate. 2. uncommon, singular, rare, phenomenal, special, signal.


1, 2. common, usual. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for extraordinary

Contemporary Examples

  • We should not give up this extraordinary chance to see what can be cooked up.

    Why Obama's Speech Moved Me Rabbi Daniel Landes March 27, 2013

  • Those of us gathered here tonight have been called to govern in extraordinary times.

    'We Will Recover' Barack Obama February 24, 2009

  • It was an extraordinary collaboration, because Jones is best known as a leader of the 9/11 Truth movement.

    Too Hot for Fox News Michelle Goldberg July 28, 2009

  • Perhaps an examination of his handwriting—an extraordinary specimen—can provide some clues to how his mind worked.

    Analyzing Michael Jackson's Handwriting Arlyn Imberman July 23, 2009

  • She had this extraordinary ability to be deeply involved and cleanly detached.

    The Years of Magical Writing Christopher Dickey November 1, 2011

Historical Examples

  • The temptation to burst out and tell her of my feelings was extraordinary.

    Man and Maid Elinor Glyn

  • The consequence was that Sara had a most extraordinary wardrobe.

    Sara Crewe Frances Hodgson Burnett

  • Why may turnkeys be said to have extraordinary powers of digestion?

    How to Solve Conundrums Anonymous

  • He knew a little and guessed a lot about its extraordinary ramifications.

    Jack O' Judgment Edgar Wallace

  • Those are his Beaux Arts pictures; extraordinary, aren't they?

    The Nest Builder Beatrice Forbes-Robertson Hale

British Dictionary definitions for extraordinary


very unusual, remarkable, or surprising


not in an established manner, course, or order


employed for particular events or purposes


(usually postpositive) (of an official, etc) additional or subordinate to the usual one: a minister extraordinary

Derived Forms

extraordinarily, adverb
extraordinariness, noun

Word Origin

C15: from Latin extraordinārius beyond what is usual; see ordinary

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for extraordinary


early 15c., from Latin extraordinarius "out of the common order," from extra ordinem "out of order," especially the usual order, from extra "out" (see extra-) + ordinem (nominative ordo) "order" (see order). Related: Extraordinarily.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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