noun, often attributive
spe·​cial·​ty | \ ˈspe-shəl-tē How to pronounce specialty (audio) \
plural specialties

Definition of specialty

1 : a distinctive mark or quality
2a : a special object or class of objects: such as
(1) : a legal agreement embodied in a sealed instrument
(2) : a product of a special kind or of special excellence fried chicken is my specialty
b : the state of being special, distinctive, or peculiar
3 : something in which one specializes

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Examples of specialty in a Sentence

Buttermilk pie is a Southern specialty. a doctor with a specialty in internal medicine
Recent Examples on the Web Start with a taste of sparkling wine, which has become a Rock Wall specialty. Esther Mobley, SFChronicle.com, "Rock Wall Wine Co. is a great reason to get yourself to Alameda," 7 July 2020 Creative word usage -- Gemini's specialty -- will impart a special power over others. BostonGlobe.com, "Horoscope," 6 July 2020 Since March, the system has redeployed specialty nurses from other areas of Christus hospitals to support its COVID-19 response. Laura Garcia, ExpressNews.com, "Some San Antonio hospitals willing to pay more for front line workers amid coronavirus pandemic," 5 July 2020 To achieve that goal, most administrators have turned to academia's specialty: brainstorming. Dennis Wagner, USA TODAY, "Colleges are racing to create 'a new sense of normalcy.' Will new rules, COVID-19 testing be enough?," 5 July 2020 With their support, Hardesty was able to coalesce enough buy-in to eliminate three specialty teams from the police budget and a promise to use the money for investments for the Black community. oregonlive, "Police cuts give Portland alternative first responder program a boost -- but can it respond to the moment?," 4 July 2020 The city temporarily diverted staffers out of family planning centers, immunization clinics and other specialty areas to work in contact tracing. Steve Thompson, Anchorage Daily News, "US states reveal little about success in contact tracing," 4 July 2020 Eat at Panoptic, Ervin’s mobile eatery focused on specialty sliders and gourmet sides, kicks off with a launch celebration on July 3 at Avondale Gallery and Loft. Shauna Stuart | Sstuart@al.com, al, "Eat at Panoptic: The road to chef Raquel Ervin’s food truck debut," 3 July 2020 The specialty products will be released on July 1 coinciding with National Ice Cream Month and in celebration of Graeter’s birthday, officials said. Sarah Brookbank, The Enquirer, "Graeter’s Ice Cream celebrates 150th birthday with new ice cream, donut," 2 July 2020

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for specialty

Middle English specialte, from Anglo-French especialté, from Late Latin specialitat-, specialitas, from Latin specialis special

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Time Traveler for specialty

Time Traveler

The first known use of specialty was in the 15th century

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Statistics for specialty

Last Updated

11 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Specialty.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/specialty. Accessed 12 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for specialty


How to pronounce specialty (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of specialty

: something that a person or place is known for making or producing very well
: an area of study or business that a person specializes in or has special knowledge of


spe·​cial·​ty | \ ˈspe-shəl-tē How to pronounce specialty (audio) \
plural specialties

Kids Definition of specialty

: something for which a person or place is known Pancakes are my specialty. Good service is the restaurant's specialty.


spe·​cial·​ty | \ ˈspesh-əl-tē How to pronounce specialty (audio) \
plural specialties

Medical Definition of specialty

: something (as a branch of medicine) in which one specializes

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plural specialties

Legal Definition of specialty

1 [from the special form of the contract] : formal contract at contract
2 : a doctrine providing that a person extradited can be prosecuted only for the charges described in the order for extradition
3 : real property (as a parcel of land or especially a structure) that is of such specialized character that no market for it exists and for which value upon condemnation is determined by the cost of reproduction less depreciation used especially in New York

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