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

The breadth of the accusations and the graphic specificity of the charges make the report a watershed moment in the history of abuse in the Catholic Church: one that will take the church decades to recover from. Tara Isabella Burton, Vox, "Scathing report reveals 300 Pennsylvania Catholic priests sexually abused over 1,000 children," 19 Oct. 2018 Ron-Ron’s sound — minimalist freeway-cruising music halfway between the galaxy of SoundCloud weirdos and the block-by-block specificity of L.A. street rap — has become one of the most important in hip-hop. August Brown, latimes.com, "A farewell concert for 03 Greedo? While the courts decide, fans turn out for a big night of L.A. rap," 17 June 2018 Much of Simpson’s career has been dedicated to documenting the specificity and breadth of black womanhood, and this collection continues in that vein. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "Lorna Simpson Maps the Complex Galaxies of Black Women’s Hair," 10 June 2018 That kind of posing specificity is definitely #goals. Elizabeth Holmes, Marie Claire, "What Do I Do With My Hands In Photos? And Other Important Questions, Answered," 12 Dec. 2018 The lack of specificity created a sensation in the Italian media. Washington Post, "5-Star Movement defends Italian premier candidate’s resume," 23 May 2018 The guidance memo is another step toward specificity in how officers are supposed to do their jobs. Dara Lind, Vox, "Jeff Sessions is pushing asylum officers to reject more migrants. Will they go along?," 20 July 2018 The result is medication with greater specificity and fewer side effects than older remedies. R. Allan Purdy, Scientific American, "Can Anything Stop My Migraine?," 1 May 2017 The specificity of their attempts is what sets Arrival apart from other stories that consider, however briefly, alien language. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "'Arrival' Is a Mind-Blowing Movie About One Long Conversation," 11 Nov. 2016

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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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

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