specific

adjective
spe·cif·ic | \ spi-ˈsi-fik \

Definition of specific 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1a : constituting or falling into a specifiable category

b : sharing or being those properties of something that allow it to be referred to a particular category

2a : restricted to a particular individual, situation, relation, or effect a disease specific to horses

b : exerting a distinctive influence (as on a body part or a disease) specific antibodies

3 : free from ambiguity : accurate a specific statement of faith

4 : of, relating to, or constituting a species and especially a biological species

5a : being any of various arbitrary physical constants and especially one relating a quantitative attribute to unit mass, volume, or area

b : imposed at a fixed rate per unit (as of weight or count) specific import duties — compare ad valorem

specific

noun

Definition of specific (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : something peculiarly adapted to a purpose or use

b : a drug or remedy having a specific mitigating effect on a disease used as a specific against malaria

2a : a characteristic quality or trait

b : details, particulars usually used in plural haggling over the legal and financial specifics of independenceTime

c specifics plural : specification sense 2a

-specific

combining form

Definition of -specific (Entry 3 of 3)

: relating or applying specifically to or intended specifically for gender-specific

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Other words from specific

Adjective

specifically \spi-ˈsi-fi-k(ə-)lē \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for specific

Adjective

special, especial, specific, particular, individual mean of or relating to one thing or class. special stresses having a quality, character, identity, or use of its own. special ingredients especial may add implications of preeminence or preference. a matter of especial importance specific implies a quality or character distinguishing a kind or a species. children with specific nutritional needs particular stresses the distinctness of something as an individual. a ballet step of particular difficulty individual implies unequivocal reference to one of a class or group. valued each individual opinion

explicit, definite, express, specific mean perfectly clear in meaning. explicit implies such verbal plainness and distinctness that there is no need for inference and no room for difficulty in understanding. explicit instructions definite stresses precise, clear statement or arrangement that leaves no doubt or indecision. the law is definite in such cases express implies both explicitness and direct and positive utterance. her express wishes specific applies to what is precisely and fully treated in detail or particular. two specific criticisms

Examples of specific in a Sentence

Adjective

Is there anything specific you want for dinner? There is a specific word for this kind of feeling. a bird species that requires a specific environment We were each given a specific topic to talk about. The doctor gave the patient specific instructions on how to care for the wound. Can you be more specific? What exactly did the policeman say? He gave her a ring—or, to be more specific, he gave her an engagement ring. She was very specific—you have to use a certain kind of tomato in the sauce. an education plan specific to each student's interests and abilities problems specific to this one housing project

Noun

quinine is a specific for malaria although the speech was long on rhetoric and platitudinous generalities, it lacked specifics
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Data specific to women are important for treatment, and to help shape policy and improve women’s access to additional support. Terri Akman, Philly.com, "Parkinson's Disease may affect women differently. These researchers aim to find out why," 12 July 2018 And the confidence of the diving team, and expertise specific to the cave, grew after its first successful mission Sunday. Anchorage Daily News, "With V-for-Victory sign, rescued Thai boys celebrate freedom," 12 July 2018 Michael Pegues, Aurora’s chief information technology officer, said there is no specific proposal for leasing the poles yet. Steve Lord, Aurora Beacon-News, "Aurora council wants more study of using ComEd poles to expand fiber optic network," 11 July 2018 And the confidence of the diving team, and expertise specific to the cave, grew after its first successful mission Sunday. Kaweewit Kaewjinda And Stephen Wright, Houston Chronicle, "'Everyone is safe' after daring rescue of 13 in Thai cave," 11 July 2018 The 47-page plan includes lots of detailed steps, but not a lot of specific redevelopment proposals. Jim Riccioli, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Mukwonago's downtown can change for the better. Now there's a plan to make that happen.," 3 July 2018 Like Mexico’s president-elect, Mr. Bolsonaro has offered little in the way of specific policy proposals. New York Times, "Mexico Delivers Another Defeat to the Status Quo in Latin America," 2 July 2018 This would only happen in the government.’’ Among the specific proposals outlined is a plan to merge the departments of education and labor into a single Department of Education and the Workforce, or DEW. Jill Colvin, BostonGlobe.com, "White House proposes merging education, labor," 22 June 2018 Among the specific proposals outlined is a plan to merge the departments of education and labor into a single Department of Education and the Workforce, or DEW. NBC News, "White House proposes merging education, labor departments," 21 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

At its most basic, the buyer submits an offer with specifics on the purchase price, down payment amount, financing, timing, and other business details. Houston Chronicle, "Counteroffers and contracts: Follow tips to get through process," 8 July 2018 Later gouaches tend toward the symbolic rather than the factual, with fewer specifics of time and place and crime. Lori Waxman, chicagotribune.com, "Human desire and exploitation: Don't miss a powerhouse show at the MCA by Otobong Nkanga," 5 July 2018 There had obviously been discussions between Cousins's representatives and the Pelicans, reportedly with some financial specifics conveyed. Rob Mahoney, SI.com, "Facing a Harsh Free-Agency Reality, DeMarcus Cousins Embraces the Absurd," 3 July 2018 Trump spoke as numerous foreign policy analysts pointed out that Trump-Kim agreement cites only intentions to denuclearize, with no specifics about how to get that done. David Jackson, USA TODAY, "Donald Trump says Kim Jong Un will follow through on denuclearization, despite skeptics," 12 June 2018 Husnain Rashid went on the messaging app Telegram in October and posted a photo of George, 4, with silhouettes of jihadist fighters superimposed on it, along with specifics of his school’s address. Dana Rose Falcone, PEOPLE.com, "ISIS Supporter Who Pushed for Attacks on Prince George's School Pleads Guilty," 31 May 2018 Issues with the concrete were noted in monthly project reports but in only vague detail and with no specifics on how many panels were affected. Washington Post, "Metro says it will do independent inspections of Silver Line concrete," 17 May 2018 Normally, presidential orders to conduct strikes go through the military chain of command, with specifics about what is expected and what the military hopes to achieve with the use of weapons and personnel. Gordon Lubold And Nancy A. Youssef, WSJ, "Trump Tweets Raise Questions About Military Planning," 12 Apr. 2018 Twitter declined NBC News' request to comment on the specifics of individual rights holders. NBC News, "Fans howl over taking down World Cup Twitter posts for copyright issues," 14 July 2018

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

Adjective

circa 1631, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1661, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for specific

Adjective

Late Latin specificus, from Latin species

Combining form

specific entry 1

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Statistics for specific

Last Updated

16 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for specific

The first known use of specific was circa 1631

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More Definitions for specific

specific

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of specific

: special or particular

: clearly and exactly presented or stated : precise or exact

: relating to a particular person, situation, etc.

specific

adjective
spe·cif·ic | \ spi-ˈsi-fik \

Kids Definition of specific

1 : relating to or being an example of a certain kind of thing a specific case

2 : relating to a particular individual or situation There are problems specific to this project.

3 : clearly and exactly presented or stated specific directions

Other words from specific

specifically \-ˈsi-fi-kə-lē \ adverb

specific

adjective
spe·cif·ic | \ spi-ˈsif-ik \

Medical Definition of specific 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : restricted by nature to a particular individual, situation, relation, or effect a disease specific to horses

b : exerting a distinctive influence (as on a body part or a disease) specific antibodies

2 : of, relating to, or constituting a species and especially a biological species

specific

noun

Medical Definition of specific (Entry 2 of 2)

: a drug or remedy having a specific mitigating effect on a disease

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specific

adjective
spe·cif·ic | \ spə-ˈsi-fik \

Legal Definition of specific 

1 : relating to a particular thing

2 : intended for or restricted to a particular end or object

3 : being of a particularly identified kind or nature

Other words from specific

specifically \-i-klē, -kə-lē \ adverb
specificity \ˌspe-sə-ˈfi-sə-tē \ noun

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Comments on specific

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