specific

adjective
spe·​cif·​ic | \ spi-ˈsi-fik How to pronounce specific (audio) \

Essential Meaning of specific

1 : special or particular Is there anything specific you want for dinner? There is a specific word for this kind of feeling. See More Examplesa bird species that requires a specific environment We were each given a specific topic to talk about.Hide
2 : clearly and exactly presented or stated : precise or exact The doctor gave the patient specific instructions on how to care for the wound. Can you be more specific? What exactly did the policeman say? See More ExamplesHe gave her a ring—or, to be more specific, he gave her an engagement ring. She was very specific—you have to use a certain kind of tomato in the sauce. Give specific examples. Do you have a specific [=certain] date in mind for your party?Hide
3 : relating to a particular person, situation, etc. an education plan specific to each student's interests and abilities problems specific to this one housing project a tax regulation specific to this kind of business

Full Definition of specific

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : constituting or falling into a specifiable category
b : sharing or being those properties of something that allow it to be referred to a particular category
2a : restricted to a particular individual, situation, relation, or effect a disease specific to horses
b : exerting a distinctive influence (as on a body part or a disease) specific antibodies
3 : free from ambiguity : accurate a specific statement of faith
4 : of, relating to, or constituting a species and especially a biological species
5a : being any of various arbitrary physical constants and especially one relating a quantitative attribute to unit mass, volume, or area
b : imposed at a fixed rate per unit (as of weight or count) specific import duties — compare ad valorem

specific

noun

Definition of specific (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : something peculiarly adapted to a purpose or use
b : a drug or remedy having a specific mitigating effect on a disease used as a specific against malaria
2a : a characteristic quality or trait
b : details, particulars usually used in plural haggling over the legal and financial specifics of independenceTime
c specifics plural : specification sense 2a

-specific

combining form

Definition of -specific (Entry 3 of 3)

: relating or applying specifically to or intended specifically for gender-specific

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Synonyms & Antonyms for specific

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Adjective

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Choose the Right Synonym for specific

Adjective

special, especial, specific, particular, individual mean of or relating to one thing or class. special stresses having a quality, character, identity, or use of its own. special ingredients especial may add implications of preeminence or preference. a matter of especial importance specific implies a quality or character distinguishing a kind or a species. children with specific nutritional needs particular stresses the distinctness of something as an individual. a ballet step of particular difficulty individual implies unequivocal reference to one of a class or group. valued each individual opinion

explicit, definite, express, specific mean perfectly clear in meaning. explicit implies such verbal plainness and distinctness that there is no need for inference and no room for difficulty in understanding. explicit instructions definite stresses precise, clear statement or arrangement that leaves no doubt or indecision. the law is definite in such cases express implies both explicitness and direct and positive utterance. her express wishes specific applies to what is precisely and fully treated in detail or particular. two specific criticisms

Examples of specific in a Sentence

Adjective Is there anything specific you want for dinner? There is a specific word for this kind of feeling. a bird species that requires a specific environment We were each given a specific topic to talk about. The doctor gave the patient specific instructions on how to care for the wound. Can you be more specific? What exactly did the policeman say? He gave her a ring—or, to be more specific, he gave her an engagement ring. She was very specific—you have to use a certain kind of tomato in the sauce. an education plan specific to each student's interests and abilities problems specific to this one housing project Noun quinine is a specific for malaria although the speech was long on rhetoric and platitudinous generalities, it lacked specifics
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective People won’t have to stress about matching brands across doses; individuals in at-risk groups might have the flexibility to avoid rare, shot-specific side effects. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 23 Oct. 2021 Views on specific programs, including affirmative action and reparations for slavery, for example, have not changed as much as the attitudes about race in principle. Los Angeles Times, 22 Oct. 2021 Li-Cycle, founded in 2016, is one of the first battery-specific recycling firms, with refining plants based in Canada and the US. Jason H. Harper, Robb Report, 22 Oct. 2021 These may help identify more employee-specific areas of improvement. Anthony Wong, Forbes, 22 Oct. 2021 Funds raised will go to support specific programs at 33 different nonprofits that help children. Gary Curreri, sun-sentinel.com, 21 Oct. 2021 Those connections amounted to a hyper-specific support group, but the experience got Cheng thinking about all the ways peer support helps people navigate tough situations. Emma Hinchliffe, Fortune, 21 Oct. 2021 The specific proposal the panel considered Monday came from the City Council’s Black, Latino and Asian Caucus, which was pushing for the statue to go to the New-York Historical Society. al, 19 Oct. 2021 For the upcoming fiscal year, the Biden administration proposes $1.3 billion, including $490 million in budget support, or money not earmarked for specific programs. Karin Laub, ajc, 15 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun This can range from the specific — such as moving in with your partner — to more general questions, like what the next month has in store for you. Sophie Saint Thomas, Allure, 4 Aug. 2021 Often, they are narrowly tailored to address a specific, and perhaps previously overlooked, gap in existing law. San Diego Union-Tribune, 25 Sep. 2021 Many are non-program specific and can be used with any course of study in the adult education curriculum. Rich Heileman, cleveland, 17 Sep. 2021 Rare is the actor who can locate the specific in the universal and vice versa. Longreads, 16 Aug. 2021 Legacy was a mega-budget bet on the abstract instead of the specific. Scott Mendelson, Forbes, 3 June 2021 That love of the specific, of the ornate and of the beautifully crafted is what sums up Cappadocia. Richard Quest And Joe Minihane, CNN, 18 Apr. 2021 Some school officials said that’s already an option for school districts and questioned some of the specific’s in Marsh’s plan. Mike Cason | Mcason@al.com, al, 6 Apr. 2021 The chip will be used in MacBooks that are scheduled to go on sale in the second half of the year, the report notes, without providing any specific. Ewan Spence, Forbes, 2 June 2021

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

Adjective

circa 1631, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1661, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for specific

Adjective and Combining form

Late Latin specificus, from Latin species

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Learn More About specific

Time Traveler for specific

Time Traveler

The first known use of specific was circa 1631

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Dictionary Entries Near specific

specif

specific

-specific

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Statistics for specific

Last Updated

26 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Specific.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/specific. Accessed 28 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for specific

specific

adjective
spe·​cif·​ic | \ spi-ˈsi-fik How to pronounce specific (audio) \

Kids Definition of specific

1 : relating to or being an example of a certain kind of thing a specific case
2 : relating to a particular individual or situation There are problems specific to this project.
3 : clearly and exactly presented or stated specific directions

Other Words from specific

specifically \ -​ˈsi-​fi-​kə-​lē \ adverb

specific

adjective
spe·​cif·​ic | \ spi-ˈsif-ik How to pronounce specific (audio) \

Medical Definition of specific

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : restricted by nature to a particular individual, situation, relation, or effect a disease specific to horses
b : exerting a distinctive influence (as on a body part or a disease) specific antibodies
2 : of, relating to, or constituting a species and especially a biological species

specific

noun

Medical Definition of specific (Entry 2 of 2)

: a drug or remedy having a specific mitigating effect on a disease

specific

adjective
spe·​cif·​ic | \ spə-ˈsi-fik How to pronounce specific (audio) \

Legal Definition of specific

1 : relating to a particular thing
2 : intended for or restricted to a particular end or object
3 : being of a particularly identified kind or nature

Other Words from specific

specifically \ -​i-​klē, -​kə-​lē How to pronounce specific (audio) \ adverb
specificity \ ˌspe-​sə-​ˈfi-​sə-​tē How to pronounce specific (audio) \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on specific

Nglish: Translation of specific for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of specific for Arabic Speakers

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