unique

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from French unique.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /juːˈniːk/, /jəˈniːk/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -iːk

Adjective[edit]

unique (comparative uniquer or more unique, superlative uniquest or most unique)

  1. (not comparable) Being the only one of its kind; unequaled, unparalleled or unmatched.
    Every person has a unique life, therefore every person has a unique journey.
    Synonyms: one of a kind, sui generis, singular
    • 1920, Robert W. Lawson, Relativity: The Special and General Theory, translation of original by Albert Einstein:
      Perhaps the reader will wonder why we have placed our " beings " on a sphere rather than on another closed surface. But this choice has its justification in the fact that, of all closed surfaces, the sphere is unique in possessing the property that all points on it are equivalent.
    • 1941, Allen v. Walt Disney:
      3. Both were written and published with the same unique chorus structure;
      4. Both compositions were written and published with the same unique harmonic structure;
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 3, in The China Governess[1]:
      ‘[…] There's every Staffordshire crime-piece ever made in this cabinet, and that's unique. The Van Hoyer Museum in New York hasn't that very rare second version of Maria Marten's Red Barn over there, nor the little Frederick George Manning—he was the criminal Dickens saw hanged on the roof of the gaol in Horsemonger Lane, by the way—’
    • 1978, Jimmy Carter, Proclamation 4611:
      Admiralty Island contains unique resources of scientific interest which need protection to assure continued opportunities for study.
    • 1998, Paul M. Edwards, The Korean War: An Annotated Bibliography[2], Greenwood Press, →ISBN, LCCN 97-40189, OCLC 477058097, page 114:
      A very interesting history of United Nations at war in Korea, done in an unique question and answer style.
    • 2002, The American Practical Navigator:
      GPS assigns a unique C/A code and a unique P code to each satellite.
  2. Of a feature, such that only one holder has it.
  3. Particular, characteristic.
    • 1999, Harry J. Cargas, Problems Unique to the Holocaust[3]:
  4. (proscribed) Of a rare quality, unusual.
    • 1950, J.D. Salinger, For Esmé—With Love and Squalor:
      And as I look back, it seems to me that we were fairly unique, the sixty of us, in that there wasn’t one good mixer in the bunch.

Usage notes[edit]

  • The comparative and superlative forms uniquer or more unique and uniquest or most unique, as well as the use of unique with modifiers as in fairly unique and very unique, are sometimes criticised, with the reasoning that either something is unique or it is not. These modified senses of “unique”, however, have been in use since at least as far back as the 18th century, with “unique” taking its common secondary sense of “uncommon, unusual, remarkable”.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

unique (plural uniques)

  1. A thing without a like; something unequalled or unparallelled; one of a kind.

Translations[edit]

Further reading[edit]


French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from Latin ūnicus.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

unique (plural uniques)

  1. unique
  2. only

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Descendants[edit]

  • Danish: unik
  • Dutch: uniek
  • English: unique
  • Norwegian Bokmål: unik
  • Norwegian Nynorsk: unik
  • Swedish: unik
  • Turkish: ünik

Further reading[edit]