specificity

noun
spec·​i·​fic·​i·​ty | \ ˌspe-sə-ˈfi-sə-tē How to pronounce specificity (audio) \

Definition of specificity

: the quality or condition of being specific: such as
a : the condition of being peculiar to a particular individual or group of organisms host specificity of a parasite
b : the condition of participating in or catalyzing only one or a few chemical reactions the specificity of an enzyme

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Synonyms & Antonyms for specificity

Synonyms

explicitness, particularity

Antonyms

generality

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Examples of specificity in a Sentence

I was impressed by the specificity of her instructions. the specificity of your description of your medical condition was a bit more than I needed

Recent Examples on the Web

Sensitivity is a test’s ability to detect the presence of an organism while specificity is its ability to rule infections out. San Diego Union-Tribune, "New test from San Diego’s Hologic is first in U.S. to help detect new STD threat," 2 Aug. 2019 Related Stories Most Americans just want to know if their health care costs will go down — something the candidates have avoided talking about with much specificity. Joe Garofoli, SFChronicle.com, "Five takeaways from the Democrats’ policy brawls," 31 July 2019 Some educators voice concern that, because of their specificity to one industry or occupation, apprenticeship programs are worse than general education at enabling students to adapt to technological change. Robert Cherry, National Review, "The Case for More Occupational Training," 25 July 2019 In addition, Rouhani said with new specificity that Iran would also start taking steps Sunday to restart its Arak nuclear reactor, which could eventually be used to produce plutonium and provide an alternate path to developing a bomb. David D. Kirkpatrick, BostonGlobe.com, "President Rouhani says Iran will begin enriching uranium at higher level in days," 3 July 2019 Pirnay believes synthetic natural phages, which are being worked on at Queen Astrid, may help alleviate the specificity problem. B David Zarley, The Verge, "These superbug-fighting viruses are making a comeback," 5 July 2019 And its breadth and specificity suggests that the auditors had seemingly unparalleled access to the inner workings of parts of the company that are often shielded from public view. Louise Matsakis, WIRED, "Facebook’s New Content Moderation Tools Put Posts in Context," 3 July 2019 That kind of emotional specificity—an intense moment transformed into a song—has become a hallmark of Benjamin’s work ever since. Raisa Bruner, Time, "Alec Benjamin Is a Pop Storyteller for the Next Generation," 21 June 2019 Yet in 1994, when Baby Boomer culture was simply the culture, the generational specificity of the film didn’t stand out. Kyle Smith, National Review, "Everyone Is Wrong about Forrest Gump," 25 June 2019

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

1875, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for specificity

Last Updated

8 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for specificity

The first known use of specificity was in 1875

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More Definitions for specificity

specificity

noun

English Language Learners Definition of specificity

formal : the quality of being specific

specificity

noun
spec·​i·​fic·​i·​ty | \ ˌspes-ə-ˈfis-ət-ē How to pronounce specificity (audio) \
plural specificities

Medical Definition of specificity

: the quality or condition of being specific: as
a : the condition of being peculiar to a particular individual or group of organisms host specificity of a parasite
b : the condition of participating in or catalyzing only one or a few chemical reactions the specificity of an enzyme

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More from Merriam-Webster on specificity

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with specificity

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for specificity

Nglish: Translation of specificity for Spanish Speakers

Comments on specificity

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