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

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 In New Hampshire, where there are already bills for family- and medical-leave coverage in the House and Senate, the state Democratic Party quickly critiqued the new proposal as nonspecific and unrealistic. Jon Kamp, WSJ, "New Hampshire, Vermont Governors Pitch Two-State, Voluntary Paid Family-Leave Plan," 16 Jan. 2019 The Crew 2 doesn’t even have fun with the inanity inherent in chasing nonspecific social media presence points. Steven Strom, Ars Technica, "The Crew 2 review: Where is everybody?," 10 July 2018 This nonspecific defense may be a strategy that gets the plants more bang for their buck by further improving their overall odds of survival, says Orrock, who reported the results with his colleagues in March in Oecologia. Erica Tennenhouse, Scientific American, "Plants “Eavesdrop” on Slimy Snails," 13 Apr. 2018 For now, the only treatment is a nonspecific antiviral drug, ribavirin. Leslie Roberts, Science | AAAS, "Health workers scramble to contain deadly rat-borne fever in Nigeria," 12 Mar. 2018 But mostly, people take vitamins for nonspecific reasons. Brennan Kilbane, GQ, "The Vitamin Supplement Craze Is Mostly Hogwash," 9 Mar. 2018 All brain imaging showed normal or nonspecific issues that may be explained by age or preexisting issues, despite earlier reports. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "“Injury to widespread brain networks” in victims of mystery attacks in Cuba," 15 Feb. 2018 Work with a local business and avoid businesses with vague, nonspecific names. Leah Napoliello, Houston Chronicle, "BBB on homes: Garage door repair: Don't let urgency override caution," 2 Mar. 2018

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

The first known use of nonspecific was in 1860

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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 nonspecifically (audio) \ adverb

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