specify

verb
spec·​i·​fy | \ ˈspe-sə-ˌfī How to pronounce specify (audio) \
specified; specifying

Definition of specify

transitive verb

1 : to name or state explicitly or in detail
2 : to include as an item in a specification

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Other Words from specify

specifiable \ ˌspe-​sə-​ˈfī-​ə-​bəl How to pronounce specifiable (audio) \ adjective
specifier \ ˈspe-​sə-​ˌfī(-​ə)r How to pronounce specifier (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for specify

Synonyms

define, lay down, prescribe

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Examples of specify in a Sentence

Can you specify the cause of the argument? Specify the color and quantity when you order. He clearly specified California wine. The instructions do not specify what kind of screws to use. All subscriptions are for one year unless otherwise specified. At the specified time, we rang the bell. She agreed to the terms specified in the contract.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Facebook saw Messenger Kids as a way to give the younger set a safer option. — The changes: Parents can now specify the times kids aren’t allowed on — either as a one-time restriction or something recurring, such as after 9 p.m. every school night. Washington Post, "Sleep mode? Tech giants’ kids’ ‘fixes’ amount to baby steps," 27 Apr. 2018 Zein Abedeen confirmed the media reports Friday without specifying the two men. Maggie Michael, The Seattle Times, "Sudan army removes leader, rejects al-Bashir extradition," 13 Apr. 2019 Apple did not specify how many iPhone X devices might be affected by this display problem. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Apple to replace unresponsive iPhone X touchscreens for free," 12 Nov. 2018 Obviously, some beauty searches don’t require specifying a skin tone. Marci Robin, Allure, "Pinterest Now Lets You Filter by Skin Tone for Beauty Searches," 27 Apr. 2018 Engine fasteners, like head bolts or main cap bolts, are often specified to be torqued with 30-weight engine oil wetting the threads and washer. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "How to Use a Torque Wrench to Keep Your Car from Flying Apart," 26 Feb. 2019 It wasn't specified whether it would be added for the 91st Academy Awards this February. Fox News, "Oscars announce new popular film category," 8 Aug. 2018 The shop manual will specify whether the fastener is supposed to be dry or lubed. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "How to Use a Torque Wrench to Keep Your Car from Flying Apart," 26 Feb. 2019 The unions did not specify when or what type of action would be taken. John Raby, The Seattle Times, "Dozens speak against education bill in West Virginia," 11 Feb. 2019

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for specify

Middle English specifien, from Anglo-French specifier, from Late Latin specificare, from specificus

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Statistics for specify

Last Updated

17 May 2019

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Time Traveler for specify

The first known use of specify was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for specify

specify

verb

English Language Learners Definition of specify

: to name or mention (someone or something) exactly and clearly : to be specific about (something)

specify

verb
spec·​i·​fy | \ ˈspe-sə-ˌfī How to pronounce specify (audio) \
specified; specifying

Kids Definition of specify

1 : to mention or name exactly and clearly Can you specify the cause of the crash?
2 : to include in a description of work to be done or materials to be used

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More from Merriam-Webster on specify

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for specify

Spanish Central: Translation of specify

Nglish: Translation of specify for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of specify for Arabic Speakers

Comments on specify

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one that collects or salvages junk

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