• WordNet 3.6
    • adj extraordinary (of an official) serving an unusual or special function in addition to those of the regular officials "an ambassador extraordinary"
    • adj extraordinary far more than usual or expected "an extraordinary desire for approval","it was an over-the-top experience"
    • adj extraordinary beyond what is ordinary or usual; highly unusual or exceptional or remarkable "extraordinary authority","an extraordinary achievement","her extraordinary beauty","enjoyed extraordinary popularity","an extraordinary capacity for work","an extraordinary session of the legislature"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The social life in ants and termites has been accompanied by an extraordinary royal perk: a 100-fold increase among queen ants in average maximum lifespan, with some queens surviving for almost 30 years. This longevity can be attributed in part to the sheltered and pampered life of the royal egg layer.
    • Extraordinary Beyond or out of the common order or method; not usual, customary, regular, or ordinary; as, extraordinary evils; extraordinary remedies. "Which dispose
      To something extraordinary my thoughts."
    • Extraordinary Employed or sent upon an unusual or special service; as, an ambassador extraordinary .
    • Extraordinary Exceeding the common degree, measure. or condition; hence, remarkable; uncommon; rare; wonderful; as, extraordinary talents or grandeur.
    • n Extraordinary That which is extraordinary; -- used especially in the plural; as, extraordinaries excepted, there is nothing to prevent success. "Their extraordinary did consist especially in the matter of prayers and devotions."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • extraordinary Being beyond or out of the common order or rule; not of the usual, customary, or regular kind; not ordinary: as, extraordinary evils require extraordinary remedies.
    • extraordinary Not pertaining to a regular system or sequence; exceptional; special: as, an extraordinary courier or messenger; an ambassador extraordinary; the extraordinary jurisdiction of a court; a gazette extraordinary.
    • extraordinary In universities, relating to studies outside of the regular curriculum, or to lectures not recognized by the university as of the first rank of importance. In the middle ages ordinary lectures were so called because their subjects, forms, times, and places were fixed by the faculty or nation, while those of the extraordinary lectures were within certain limits left to the will of the lecturer. The extraordinary lectures could only be given at times not occupied by ordinary lectures. They treated of every subject except logic, theology, law, and medicine.
    • extraordinary Exceeding the common degree or measure; hence, remarkable; uncommon; rare; wonderful: as, the extraordinary genius of Shakspere; an edifice of extraordinary grandeur.
    • extraordinary Synonyms Unusual, singular, extra, unwonted, signal, egregious, marvelous, prodigious, strange, preposterous.
    • n extraordinary Anything uncommon or unusual; a thing exceeding the usual order, practice, or method.
    • n extraordinary An express messenger or courier.
    • n extraordinary Extra expense or indulgence.
    • n extraordinary In the British service, an allowance to troops beyond the gross pay, such as the expenses for barracks, encampments, etc.
    • extraordinary Remarkably; exceptionally; extraordinarily.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Extraordinary eks-tror′di-nar-i or eks-trä-or′- beyond ordinary: not usual or regular: wonderful: special or supernumerary, as 'physician extraordinary' in a royal household, and 'extraordinary professor' in a German university, both being inferior to the ordinary official
    • ***


  • Jean Paul Richter
    “Do not wait for extraordinary circumstances to do good action; try to use ordinary situations.”
  • Phil Gramm
    Phil Gramm
    “The genius of the American system is that we have created extraordinary results from plain old ordinary people.”
  • Thornton Wilder
    “I am convinced that, except in a few extraordinary cases, one form or another of an unhappy childhood is essential to the formation of exceptional gifts.”
  • Harry Emerson Fosdick
    “Democracy is based upon the conviction that there are extraordinary possibilities in ordinary people.”
  • Thomas Mann
    “Extraordinary creature! So close a friend, and yet so remote.”
  • Source Unknown
    Source Unknown
    “Enthusiasm makes ordinary people extraordinary.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. extraordinarius,; extra, on the outside + ordinarius,: cf. F. extraordinaire,. See Ordinary
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. extra, outside, ordoinis, order.


In literature:

Everybody says it is all topsy-turvydom now in the capital, and that the most extraordinary reports are coming in from the provinces.
"Indiscreet Letters From Peking"
Impatient and disgusted, I formed several extraordinary projects to evade my ignorance of horticulture.
"About Orchids" by Frederick Boyle
"Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 1, Complete" by Various
The capital was in extraordinary agitation.
"History Of Egypt From 330 B.C. To The Present Time, Volume 12 (of 12)" by S. Rappoport
This was indeed an extraordinary outburst of lawless violence, and gives a singular insight of the state of society.
"Salem Witchcraft, Volumes I and II" by Charles Upham
He possessed an extraordinary gift of dealing with children and taught us many things.
"Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie" by Andrew Carnegie
By this extraordinary scheme the Company is totally overturned, and all its relations inverted.
"The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. VIII. (of 12)" by Edmund Burke
It is no wonder that he has taken to himself an extraordinary degree of merit.
"The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. X. (of 12)" by Edmund Burke
Among all the wonderful subterranean monuments of Egypt, the Catacombs of Thebes are the most extraordinary and magnificent.
"Anecdotes of Painters, Engravers, Sculptors and Architects and Curiosities of Art (Vol. 3 of 3)" by S. Spooner
To feel extraordinary indignation at vice, merely because we have partaken in an extraordinary degree of its mischiefs, is unjustifiable.
"Arthur Mervyn" by Charles Brockden Brown

In poetry:

Extraordinary geraniums
crowded the front windows,
the floors glittered with
assorted linoleums.
"A Summer’s Dream" by Elizabeth Bishop
Some most extraordinary spell
O'er (us/them) has cast its magic fell—
The consequence (we/they) need not tell.
(We/They) pity, pity (thee!/me).
"The Sorcerer: Act II" by William Schwenck Gilbert
Oh, THOMSON GREEN, I may remark,
Met HARRIET HALE in Regent's Park,
Where he, in a casual kind of way,
Spoke of the extraordinary beauty of the day.
"Thomson Green and Harriet Hale" by William Schwenck Gilbert
No creature, how extraordinary soe'er,
Cou'd from the jaws of sin poor mortals tear,
And place them near their God, the saints among,
But Jesus Christ, the Shiloh promis'd long.
"Advice, To Search For The Lord Jesus Christ" by Rees Prichard
A shallow lake, with many waterbirds,
especially egrets: I was showing Mother around,
An extraordinary vivid dream
of Betty & Douglass, and Don—his mother's estate
was on the grounds of a lunatic asylum.
He showed me around.
"Dream Song 101: A shallow lake, with many waterbirds" by John Berryman
And as an advocate I now appear,
Taking in this request an ample share,
As plenipo-extraordinary I stand,
And feel beneath your smiles my hopes expand,
On your indulgence thus I learn to draw,
And grateful add-dear audience, Bon Soir.
"Apology For An Epilogue" by Judith Sargent Murray

In news:

When I was a hospice chaplain I worked with some extraordinary doctors and nurses who taught me about holistic medical care and the presence of honesty in medical planning and treatment.
Ten days after it was known that an extraordinary storm was approaching the Gulf Coast, the ravages of the hurricane and the human suffering have still not been adequately addressed.
Last week saw some extraordinary events in our nation's capital, where the law and politics intersected once again in a way that left even the chattering classes on television and in the blogosphere scrambling for meaning.
An extraordinary piece on Hillary (and Bill) in today's NYT by novelist Lorrie Moore (reg.
Thus, says Keith Kendrick, a neuroscientist at the Babraham Institute in Cambridge, England, the mothers can have "an extraordinary influence on their offspring".
Tales of an Extraordinary Madman .
Tales of an Extraordinary Madman PDF Print E-mail.
A kid with extraordinary skills simply lives with the ordinary desire to belong.
Frank Sinatra, the singer and actor whose extraordinary voice elevated popular song into an art, died on Thursday night in Los Angeles.
NEW YORK — Émilie du Châtelet led an extraordinary life.
5 ways to find extraordinary employees.
This small songbird's vocals are extraordinary.
It's almost impossible to imagine, but in the dark, bleak years of 1943 and 1944, in the remote Nazi internment camp of Terezín, some of the most extraordinary musical performances of all time took place.
"Extraordinary Women" with mark little.
Suzanne Reek and Michele Iallonardi are this week's Fortune 52 honorees, Long Island women who are doing extraordinary things in our local community.

In science:

To prove this equation, we observe that both sides are 1-linear in P, and therefore it suffices (Proposition 2) to prove that their precomposition with hY × B are equal; this in turn follows from naturality of h w.r.to f , and the extraordinary naturality of ev.
Commutative monads as a theory of distributions
Our simulations (to be discussed later) seem to suggest that nothing very extraordinary may be needed to push the Sun into a grand minimum.
Dynamo models of grand minima
One extraordinary property predicted for random media – and later revealed – is the Anderson localization .
Beam propagation in a Randomly Inhomogeneous Medium
In the former case, the privileged noise direction is that of the quantization axis defined by the magnetic field; while in the latter, that of the linear polarizations along the ordinary and extraordinary axes of the fiber.
Robust macroscopic quantum correlations without complex encodings
By Assumption 1 in the previous section the multiplicative ergodic theorem yields the existence of linear subspaces with corresponding Lyapunov exponents, which play an extraordinary important role in the analysis of dynamical systems.
Absolute Continuity Theorem for Random Dynamical Systems on $R^d$