spe·​cial·​ize | \ ˈspe-shə-ˌlīz How to pronounce specialize (audio) \
specialized; specializing

Definition of specialize

transitive verb

1 : to make particular mention of : particularize
2 : to apply or direct to a specific end or use specialized their study

intransitive verb

1 : to concentrate one's efforts in a special activity, field, or practice
2 : to undergo specialization especially : to change adaptively

Examples of specialize in a Sentence

Some carpenters do a wide range of jobs, while others specialize.

Recent Examples on the Web

Pitched as a sort of Netflix tailored for mobile devices, the service will specialize in short-form content for viewers on the go. Tyler Aquilina, EW.com, "MTV launching reimagined Punk'd and Singled Out for Jeffrey Katzenberg's Quibi platform," 4 June 2019 Richard, on the other hand, worked out of CBS's New York City offices and specialized in political coverage. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Meredith Vieira's Husband and Kids Have Had to Face Many Uphill Battles Together," 1 May 2019 Nestled behind the tapas bar Crush, Greek Sneek is a modest 2,000 square feet (seating only about 100 diners), and specializes in classic Mediterranean dishes; Avgolemono chicken soup, kebabs, the works. Marley Marius, Vogue, "A Guide to Low-Key (But Still Luxe) Las Vegas," 22 Oct. 2018 Nepal Sanctuary Treks, a company specializing in Himalayan trekking, says an entire expedition can take up to two months. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "4 Things That Might Be Easier Than Getting Donald Trump’s Tax Returns," 15 Apr. 2019 The science behind pelvic floor physical therapy Pelvic floor physical therapy is a way of trying to strengthen the area to alleviate symptoms under the guidance of a physical therapist who specializes in pelvic floor disorders. Cassie Shortsleeve, SELF, "What to Know About Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Your Pelvic Floor," 10 May 2019 Diana also landed a role in Eve, a film starring Jessica Chastain as a deadly assassin who specializes in high profile hits. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "10 Facts About Diana Silvers That Might Make Her Your Newest Obsession," 7 May 2019 Yesterday, Unknown Vlogs, a YouTuber who specializes in breaking down the cost of outfits, released a five and a half minute special on the rapper’s OVO crew. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Drake’s Million Dollar Outfit Is His Latest Fashion Milestone," 4 Apr. 2019 Indeed, no engine in production could meet the specifications Aston laid out for the Valkyrie, so the automaker hired Cosworth, the famous British engineering firm that specializes in high-performance and racing engines, to build one from scratch. Matthew Jancer, Popular Mechanics, "Pride of the Valkyries," 29 Jan. 2019

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

1616, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Statistics for specialize

Last Updated

11 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for specialize

The first known use of specialize was in 1616

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More Definitions for specialize



English Language Learners Definition of specialize

: to limit your business or area of study to one specific subject


spe·​cial·​ize | \ ˈspe-shə-ˌlīz How to pronounce specialize (audio) \
specialized; specializing

Kids Definition of specialize

1 : to limit attention or energy to one business, subject, or study The factory will specialize in jet airplanes.
2 : to change and develop so as to be suited for some particular use or living conditions The front legs of a mole are specialized for digging.


intransitive verb
variants: also British specialise \ ˈspesh-​ə-​ˌlīz How to pronounce specialise (audio) \
specialized also British specialised; specializing also British specialising

Medical Definition of specialize

1 : to concentrate one's efforts in a special activity or field : become or be a specialist specialize in anesthesiology
2 : to undergo evolutionary specialization

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More from Merriam-Webster on specialize

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with specialize

Spanish Central: Translation of specialize

Nglish: Translation of specialize for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of specialize for Arabic Speakers

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