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

For those nostalgic for a particular kind of portable fighter, Pocket Rumble scratches that very specific itch. Andrew Webster, The Verge, "Pocket Rumble for the Nintendo Switch channels the best portable fighters," 6 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 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention even got specific two years ago, saying that parts of Ohio and Kentucky, 65 counties among 220 identified nationwide, should be prepared for this potential epidemic within an epidemic. Terry Demio, Cincinnati.com, "Living with HIV: Fueled by heroin, HIV makes an alarming resurgence in Cincinnati," 11 July 2018 In the past, a technical position was specific and often limited to a geographical area minimizing the need for collaboration, diversity and communication on a global scale. Kimberly Thompson, Houston Chronicle, "Career Rescue: Soft skills help energy-job interview," 8 July 2018 In Georgia, where insurance premiums are high and the number of fatal crashes has been increasing, the new law gets specific. Justine Mcdaniel, Philly.com, "One hand on the wheel, one on the phone: Still legal while driving in Pa.," 6 July 2018 Anderson's team continues to collect data and hopes to make the app more accurate by asking parents to get specific about what certain sounds mean. CBS News, "ChatterBaby app could help parents figure out why their baby is crying," 28 June 2018 Eventually, the jokes became increasingly more specific and strange. Stephen Daw, Billboard, "Comedians Patti Harrison & Julio Torres Offer Ideas for 'Straight Pride' Floats on 'The Tonight Show': Watch," 28 June 2018 In a blockchain environment, sharing our data will become more granular, specific, and secure. Shawn Owen, Fortune, "Worried About Your Data Privacy? Blockchain Could Help," 27 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The White House’s drug pricing blueprint, unveiled in May, was notably light on policy specifics, and the current Congress has not passed legislation aimed at reducing drug costs. Lev Facher, BostonGlobe.com, "Trump knocks Pfizer Inc. drug price hikes," 9 July 2018 The White House’s drug pricing blueprint, unveiled in May, was notably light on policy specifics, and the current Congress has not passed legislation aimed at reducing drug costs. Lev Facher, STAT, "Trump lashes out against Pfizer over hiking of drug prices," 9 July 2018 The agreement with Kim is light on specifics, and much is riding on international negotiations now taking place. Salvador Rizzo, Washington Post, "President Trump’s exaggerated claims about the North Korea deal," 2 July 2018 Book a group event: fadoirishpub.com 2005 W. Division St., 773-698-8940 This Ukrainian Village spot will be open for most games (call or email cwilson@fatpourtapworks.com for specifics). Hannah Steinkopf-frank, RedEye Chicago, "Score at these World Cup viewing parties and specials," 13 June 2018 As for specifics, the palace hasn't confirmed anything beyond that yet. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Here's Where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Will Actually Live," 4 June 2018 The rotary delivers power linearly all the way to 7,000 or 8,000 RPM, depending on engine specifics, and that flat power band sets it apart from rev-happy piston engines that too often pour on the power at high RPM while feeling gutless at low RPM. Matthew Jancer, Popular Mechanics, "Why Car Lovers Are So Mad for Mazda’s Rotary Engine Revival," 21 May 2018 Noah Karvelis of Arizona Educators United is looking for specifics on Gov. Ducey’s proposed plan, as teachers greet legislators on the third day of the teacher walkout. Rachel Leingang, azcentral, "Koch-backed 'freedom schools' in Arizona to get money in university funding budget," 1 May 2018 Family and friends will have a private gathering (email Lovefordonna1951@yahoo.com for specifics). Hartford Courant, courant.com, "Donna L. Landry," 5 Apr. 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

14 Oct 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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exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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