Simple Definition of specimen
: something (such as an animal or plant) collected as an example of a particular kind of thing
: a small amount or piece of something that can be tested or examined
: a notable example of something
Full Definition of specimen
1a : an individual, item, or part considered typical of a group, class, or wholeb : a portion or quantity of material for use in testing, examination, or study <a urine specimen>
3 : a plant grown for exhibition or in the open to display its full development <specimen trees>
Examples of specimen in a sentence
The church is a magnificent specimen of baroque architecture.
Her dance partner is a superb physical specimen.
Origin of specimen
Latin, from specere to look at, look — more at spy
First Known Use: 1610
Synonym Discussion of specimen
SPECIMEN Defined for Kids
Definition of specimen for Students
1 : something collected as a sample or for examination
2 : a notable example of something <The cathedral is a magnificent specimen of medieval architecture.>
3 : an example of a type of person <… the specimen of the British nobility present happened to be the most ordinary man of the party. — Louisa May Alcott, Little Women>
Word Root of specimen
The Latin word specere, meaning “to look” or “to look at,” gives us the roots spec, spic, and spect. Words from the Latin specere have something to do with looking or watching. A spectator is a person who watches something, such as a sports event. Anything conspicuous is easy to see. To inspect is to look very closely at all parts of something. A specimen, or sample, is one example or one part that can show what the rest look like.
Medical Definition of specimen
1: an individual, item, or part typical of a group, class, or whole
2: a portion or quantity of material for use in testing, examination, or study <a urine specimen>
Seen and Heard
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