specificity

noun
spec·​i·​fic·​i·​ty | \ˌspe-sə-ˈfi-sə-tē \

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 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 Part of the problem is that these essays often take a first-person-plural perspective, which flattens the drama of specificity with sweeping generalities. Emily Bobrow, WSJ, "‘Almost Everything’ Review: Finding Beauty," 26 Oct. 2018 That lack of specificity is both ridiculous and frustrating. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Hands on with Microsoft's Surface Pro 6: The new tablet is easy to use, confusing to buy," 3 Oct. 2018 While many high-profile speakers certainly addressed the current political climate, none dared do so with specificity. Michael Smerconish, Philly.com, "How 2018 commencement speakers talked about Trump without saying his name | Michael Smerconish," 7 June 2018 The lack of specificity reminds me of the blank space placards held at protests, each article leaving room for the next dumpster-diving homeless man shot and killed. Sadia Hassan, Longreads, "Silence is a Lonely Country: A Prayer in Twelve Parts," 13 July 2018 When compared to the Pantone catalogue, with its lyricism and specificity, the name Gen Z Yellow is beyond annoying. refinery29.com, "Can We Please Not Call It "Gen Z Yellow"?," 17 May 2018

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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Last Updated

28 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

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

: the quality of being specific

specificity

noun
spec·​i·​fic·​i·​ty | \ˌspes-ə-ˈfis-ət-ē \
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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