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

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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 In some cases, the specificity bordered on paranormal. Caitlin Harrington, Wired, "There's No Such Thing as Family Secrets in the Age of 23andMe," 30 July 2020 There is always more to notice in the specificity of a single place or space. Kyle Chayka, The New Yorker, "How the Coronavirus Will Reshape Architecture," 17 June 2020 Abbott says its IgG test is highly accurate, with a specificity of 99.6% and a sensitivity of 100%, though other studies have found slightly lower figures. Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press, "COVID-19 antibody tests flood market: Which ones medical professionals recommend," 11 June 2020 Other issues could lead to false negatives, including poor specimen collection, or poor tests with low specificity, Juthani says. Jason Hanna, CNN, "Here's what pooled testing is and how it can be used for the coronavirus," 6 July 2020 Advocates for the memorial say its specificity is important. Logan Jaffe, ProPublica, "The Nation’s First Reparations Package to Survivors of Police Torture Included a Public Memorial. Survivors Are Still Waiting.," 3 July 2020 Refusing to begin talks without his interpreter (in lieu of using the interpreter of his counterpart), valuing the importance of the specificity of language. NBC News, "Obama's former Protocol Chief on how to make diplomacy work for you, especially during these uncharted times," 1 July 2020 Casting a mixed race character with a white actress undermines the specificity of the mixed race and Black American experience. Emily Tannenbaum, Glamour, "Kristen Bell and Jenny Slate Step Down From Voicing Black Animated Characters," 25 June 2020 To the unfocused eye, this larger and whiter crowd might have looked diluted, as if merged with Black Lives Matter at the expense of its old specificity. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "A Dream of Lasting Solidarity at the Dyke March," 24 June 2020

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

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The first known use of specificity was in 1875

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Statistics for specificity

Last Updated

5 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Specificity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/specificity. Accessed 7 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for specificity

specificity

noun
How to pronounce specificity (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for specificity

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with specificity

Nglish: Translation of specificity for Spanish Speakers

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