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 Dictionary entry overview: What does unique mean? 

UNIQUE (adjective)
  The adjective UNIQUE has 4 senses:

1. radically distinctive and without equal
2. (followed by 'to') applying exclusively to a given category or condition or locality
3. the single one of its kind
4. highly unusual or rare but not the single instance

  Familiarity information: UNIQUE used as an adjective is uncommon.

 Dictionary entry details 

UNIQUE (adjective)

Sense 1unique [BACK TO TOP]


Radically distinctive and without equal


unequaled; unequalled; unique; unparalleled; alone

Context examples:

he is alone in the field of microbiology / this theory is altogether alone in its penetration of the problem / Bach was unique in his handling of counterpoint / craftsmen whose skill is unequaled / unparalleled athletic ability / a breakdown of law unparalleled in our history


incomparable; uncomparable (such that comparison is impossible; unsuitable for comparison or lacking features that can be compared)

Sense 2unique [BACK TO TOP]


(followed by 'to') applying exclusively to a given category or condition or locality

Context example:

a species unique to Australia


specific ((sometimes followed by 'to') applying to or characterized by or distinguishing something particular or special or unique)

Sense 3unique [BACK TO TOP]


The single one of its kind


unique; singular

Context examples:

a singular example / the unique existing example of Donne's handwriting / a unique copy of an ancient manuscript / certain types of problems have unique solutions


single (existing alone or consisting of one entity or part or aspect or individual)

Sense 4unique [BACK TO TOP]


Highly unusual or rare but not the single instance

Context examples:

spoke with a unique accent / had unique ability in raising funds / a frankness unique in literature / a unique dining experience


unusual (not usual or common or ordinary)

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 UNIQUE: related words searches 

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