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 nonspecific (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 When recognized in time, HIT can be treated with immunoglobulins—nonspecific antibodies from blood donors—that help put the brakes on platelet activation. Kai Kupferschmidt, Science | AAAS, "A rare clotting disorder may cloud the world's hopes for AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine," 27 Mar. 2021 Those symptoms are very nonspecific and can be present in any number of other conditions. Mike Wehner, BGR, "If you have this soup at home, think twice before eating it," 16 Mar. 2021 Former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said last year that the new bills could not be put into circulation until 2028 at the earliest, citing nonspecific technical issues. Star Tribune, "After hitting Trump roadblock, plan for Harriet Tubman $20 restarts," 2 Feb. 2021 Kim’s vision has always been very gender nonspecific. New York Times, "Kim Jones Wants to Rule the Fashion World," 25 Jan. 2021 Each of the patients had already been infected with COVID-19 and presumably had recovered, yet each was still dealing with symptoms of the disease—sometimes vague, sometimes nonspecific—that simply would not go away. Carolyn Barber, Scientific American, "The Problem of ‘Long Haul’ COVID," 29 Dec. 2020 On the other hand, psychological and/or social factors can easily explain some of the nonspecific chronic symptoms, such as dizziness and fatigue, that some diplomats reported. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "US diplomats’ brain injuries may be from covert microwave attack, experts say," 10 Dec. 2020 Her determination to be as nonspecific as possible in her answers left her responses hollow. Washington Post, "Republicans have the power to vote in Barrett. Sen. Booker implored them to have grace.," 15 Oct. 2020 Kahn said the minimal amount of nonspecific data collected with the Exposure Notification system may limit the degree of severity that could result from a breach. Hallie Miller, baltimoresun.com, "Maryland rolls out cellphone program to help with contact tracing for the coronavirus. Here’s what you need to know.," 10 Nov. 2020

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

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The first known use of nonspecific was in 1860

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Last Updated

5 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Nonspecific.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nonspecific. Accessed 20 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for nonspecific

nonspecific

adjective

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 nonspecific (audio) \ adverb

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