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[ih-spesh-uh l] /ɪˈspɛʃ əl/

special; exceptional; outstanding:
of no especial importance; an especial friend.
of a particular kind, or peculiar to a particular one; particular:
your especial case.
adjective (prenominal)
unusual; notable; exceptional: he paid especial attention to her that evening
applying to one person or thing in particular; not general; specific; peculiar: he had an especial dislike of relatives

late 14c., from Old French especial “pre-eminent, important,” from Latin specialis “belonging to a particular kind or species,” from species “kind” (see species).

Latin words with initial sp-, st-, sc- usually acquired an e- when borrowed by Old French. Modern French has restored the word to spécial. Originally with the same sense as special, later restricted to feelings, qualities, etc.


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