ex ‧ cep ‧ tion ‧ al /ɪkˈsepʃ ə nəl/ BrE AmE adjective
1 . unusually good SYN outstanding :
an exceptional student
2 . unusual and likely not to happen often:
This is an exceptional case; I’ve never seen anything like it before.
Promotion in the first year is only given in exceptional circumstances.
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COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 1)
■ exceptional + NOUN
▪ exceptional talent/ability/skill
He showed exceptional talent even as a youngster.
▪ exceptional quality
This is a wine of exceptional quality.
▪ exceptional bravery/courage
Fire crews showed exceptional bravery.
▪ quite exceptional (=very exceptional)
The level of effort involved is really quite exceptional.
▪ truly exceptional (=really or extremely exceptional)
The film features a truly exceptional cast, including Oscar winner Denzel Washington.
▪ the most exceptional (=the best)
George Best was one of the most exceptional footballers of all time.
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COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 2)
▪ an exceptional case
In the 1950s, some working class students went on to university, but these were exceptional cases.
▪ an exceptional event
If an exceptional event occurs, such as the death of a family member, you can ask for the court case to be postponed.
▪ the exceptional nature of something (=the very unusual qualities or features that something has)
In view of the exceptional nature of your crime, this court sentences you to a minimum of twenty years.
▪ most exceptional (=very exceptional)
A child will only be removed from the parental home in the most exceptional of cases.
▪ highly exceptional (=extremely exceptional)
A loan of this size is highly exceptional.
▪ in exceptional circumstances (=when a situation is extremely unusual)
The U.S. will only issue a visitor visa at short notice in exceptional circumstances.
▪ give somebody exceptional leave to do something formal (=give someone special permission to do something)
Two of the asylum seekers were given exceptional leave to stay in Britain.