nonspecific

adjective
non·​spe·​cif·​ic | \ ˌnän-spi-ˈsi-fik How to pronounce nonspecific (audio) \

Definition of nonspecific

: not specific: such as
a : lacking in detail or particulars nonspecific answers a nonspecific description
b : not caused by a specific or identified agent nonspecific enteritis
c : not restricted to a particular category, situation, or group nonspecific flu-like symptoms
d : not affecting a particular region or part nonspecific pain
e : having a general purpose, effect, or action : lacking in specificity nonspecific antiviral agents nonspecific irritants

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Other Words from nonspecific

nonspecifically \ ˌnän-​spi-​ˈsi-​fi-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce nonspecifically (audio) \ adverb
After a toxic protein is released into the bloodstream, it is taken up by macrophages, cells that nonspecifically scavenge and ingest various substances. — Harald von Boehmer and Pawel Kisielow

Examples of nonspecific in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Interviews with the Chinese patient at the center of the study revealed she may have actually had mild, nonspecific symptoms. Joshua Berlinger, CNN, "Two cruise ships quarantined in Asia amid coronavirus outbreak, stranding more than 5,000," 5 Feb. 2020 In the new report, doctors describe how the man progressed from initially mild, nonspecific symptoms to pneumonia on the ninth day of his illness. Michael Nedelman, CNN, "New report on first US case of novel coronavirus details mild symptoms followed by pneumonia," 31 Jan. 2020 Of course, tiredness is a pretty nonspecific symptom (and can even be a sign of low blood sugar, as Dr. Adimoolam points out). Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "10 Signs and Symptoms of High Blood Sugar to Be Aware Of," 6 Nov. 2019 Their widespread and nonspecific use led to the development of new and stronger bacterial strains as our quiver of effective antibiotics began to narrow. Seema Verma, STAT, "Seema Verma: CMS’s ‘expanded pathway’ for new antibiotics can help fight antimicrobial resistance," 6 Nov. 2019 The Cryptococcus infection presents as lung disease with nonspecific flu-like symptoms, such as fever, cough and chest pain. Murat Can Kalem, The Conversation, "Why does the CDC want us to ‘Think Fungus’?," 23 Sep. 2019 After a season in which the Coyotes experienced an unholy number of significant injuries, kicking off training camp with a nonspecific knee injury feels like a black cat crossing center ice at Gila River Arena. Richard Morin, azcentral, "Oliver Ekman-Larsson's cryptic injury is latest in string of bad luck for Coyotes," 12 Sep. 2019 Like Chippi, Jarril claimed there are town residents solidly behind the effort, but that many are reluctant to be publicly identified for fear of possible nonspecific reprisals or retaliation. Charlie Brennan, The Denver Post, "Mayor, two trustees targeted in Nederland recall petitions," 16 Aug. 2019 The movie predicted a future full of gender-nonspecific clothes, a recurring theme in many great sci-fi films. Jacob Gallagher, WSJ, "Who Needs Gender? Why Men and Women Are Dressing Identically," 21 Feb. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nonspecific.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of nonspecific

1860, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for nonspecific

Time Traveler

The first known use of nonspecific was in 1860

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Last Updated

20 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Nonspecific.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nonspecific. Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for nonspecific

nonspecific

adjective
How to pronounce nonspecific (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of nonspecific

medical : not clearly having one specific cause
: not clearly understood or described : lacking specific details

nonspecific

adjective
non·​spe·​cif·​ic | \ -spi-ˈsif-ik How to pronounce nonspecific (audio) \

Medical Definition of nonspecific

: not specific: as
a : not caused by a specific or identified agent nonspecific enteritis
b : not restricted to a particular category, situation, or group nonspecific flu-like symptoms
c : not affecting a particular region or part nonspecific pain
d : having a general purpose, effect, or action nonspecific antiviral agents nonspecific irritants

Other Words from nonspecific

nonspecifically \ -​ˈsif-​i-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce nonspecifically (audio) \ adverb

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