specificity

noun

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

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 This specificity meant that Flynn and Scott, as well as Dakota Fanning, who plays Marge, were called into rehearse scenes sometimes several months before the actual filming would take place. Emily Zemler, Rolling Stone, 5 Apr. 2024 Writing with specificity answers reader questions and overcomes objections—in advance. Renae Gregoire, Forbes, 29 Mar. 2024 And with all storytelling, specificity is universal. Ashley Lee, Los Angeles Times, 16 Mar. 2024 Consider, instead, more neutral and calming elements as a foundation for the color of the walls and ceiling and then add some specificity in your tastes to lamp shades, area rugs and even removable wallpaper, borders or stickers. Caron Golden, San Diego Union-Tribune, 25 Mar. 2024 Lifeforce Membership The importance of specificity, personalization and clinical diagnoses is at the center of a new proactive healthcare company Lifeforce. Anna Tingley, Variety, 22 Mar. 2024 The team found that the blood test’s sensitivity was 83%, and the specificity—or ability to find a negative result in disease-free people—was 90%, according to Grady. Staff Author, Health, 22 Mar. 2024 Even if answers are honest, poll questions are often too broad and lacking the specificity needed to get quality information. Paige McGlauflin, Fortune, 15 Mar. 2024 Or specificity at all, which is what makes this worst-case-scenario procedural a sometimes frustrating, maddeningly opaque affair. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 15 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'specificity.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1875, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of specificity was in 1875

Dictionary Entries Near specificity

Cite this Entry

“Specificity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/specificity. Accessed 19 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

specificity

noun
spec·​i·​fic·​i·​ty ˌspes-ə-ˈfis-ət-ē How to pronounce specificity (audio)
: the quality or condition of being specific
especially : the condition of taking part in or of acting as a catalyst in only one or a few chemical reactions
the specificity of an enzyme

Medical Definition

specificity

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

More from Merriam-Webster on specificity

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