spe·cial·i·za·tion | \ˌspe-sh(ə-)lə-ˈzā-shən \

Definition of specialization 

1 : a making or becoming specialized

2a : structural adaptation of a body part to a particular function or of an organism for life in a particular environment

b : a body part or an organism adapted by specialization

Examples of specialization in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The government, as a rule, discourages specialization: Military officers and diplomats are constantly transferred from one post to another, from one region to the next. Keith Gessen, New York Times, "The Quiet Americans Behind the U.S.-Russia Imbroglio," 8 May 2018 Sport specialization is intense training in a single sport while excluding others. Katie Parsons, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Kids playing sports: Don't focus on single sport too early, experts say," 17 May 2018 With its new campaign, USA Swimming is choosing sides in a national debate about over-specialization in youth sports and mounting concerns over subjecting growing bodies to year-round stress on the same muscle groups. Hilary Potkewitz, WSJ, "USA Swimming Flips for Multisport Youth Athletes," 2 July 2018 More, specialization compels multinational businesses to circle the globe with supply chains and warehouses, because goods must be shipped and stored. Jason Pontin, WIRED, "3D Printing Is the Future of Factories (for Real This Time)," 11 July 2018 This holds true even when considering disparities in the size of female talent pools across industries, which is measured based on the number of women who graduate with specific degrees and specializations. Bev Perdue, Fortune, "Why Can’t Companies Break the Cycle of All-Male Leadership?," 26 June 2018 Immigrants have been serving in the U.S. military since the country’s founding, but recent programs have encouraged the enlistment of those with medical specialization or certain language fluency. Renae Reints, Fortune, "The U.S. Army Is Abruptly Discharging Immigrant Enlistees Previously Headed Toward Citizenship, Lawyers Say," 6 July 2018 Once again, the reason for this change stems from the rise of analytics, which show the benefit of using relievers based on individual matchups, leading to extreme specialization. Jared Diamond, WSJ, "As Teams Seek More Relief, 13-Man Pitching Staffs Are the New Normal," 18 Apr. 2018 In an age of specialization, Leto is something special, a true three-sport high school athlete. Detroit Free Press, "Meet Luke Leto, Michigan's best baseball prospect since Derek Jeter," 24 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'specialization.' 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 specialization

1831, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

30 Sep 2018

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The first known use of specialization was in 1831

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More Definitions for specialization


spe·cial·iza·tion | \ˌspesh-(ə-)lə-ˈzā-shən \
variants: also British specialisation \ˌspesh-ə-ˌlī- \

Medical Definition of specialization 

1 : a making or becoming specialized specialization in pediatrics

2a : structural adaptation of a body part to a particular function or of an organism for life in a particular environment

b : a body part or an organism adapted by specialization

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