specimen

noun
spec·​i·​men | \ ˈspes-mən How to pronounce specimen (audio) , ˈspe-sə-\

Definition of specimen

1a : an individual, item, or part considered typical of a group, class, or whole
b : a portion or quantity of material for use in testing, examination, or study a urine specimen
2a : something that obviously belongs to a particular category but is noticed by reason of an individual distinguishing characteristic
b : person, individual he's a tough specimen
3 : a plant grown for exhibition or in the open to display its full development specimen trees

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Choose the Right Synonym for specimen

instance, case, illustration, example, sample, specimen mean something that exhibits distinguishing characteristics in its category. instance applies to any individual person, act, or thing that may be offered to illustrate or explain. an instance of history repeating itself case is used to direct attention to a real or assumed occurrence or situation that is to be considered, studied, or dealt with. a case of mistaken identity illustration applies to an instance offered as a means of clarifying or illuminating a general statement. a telling illustration of Murphy's Law example applies to a typical, representative, or illustrative instance or case. a typical example of bureaucratic waste sample implies a part or unit taken at random from a larger whole and so presumed to be typical of its qualities. show us a sample of your work specimen applies to any example or sample whether representative or merely existent and available. one of the finest specimens of the jeweler's art

Examples of specimen in a Sentence

The church is a magnificent specimen of baroque architecture. Her dance partner is a superb physical specimen.

Recent Examples on the Web

In São Paulo, a 2010 fire at the Instituto Butantan destroyed one of the world’s largest collections of snakes, scorpions and other specimens. Paulo Trevisani, WSJ, "A Symbol of Brazil’s Indifference to History," 7 Sep. 2018 Millions of irreplaceable artifacts and specimens are feared lost. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Millions of Priceless Artifacts Destroyed in Disastrous Museum Fire," 5 Sep. 2018 Use them as specimens or accents on the shaded side of a shrub border or under flowering trees. Kris Wetherbee, Good Housekeeping, "How to Grow the Most Stunning Hostas," 7 Aug. 2018 The discovered specimen likely weighed one ton and was about as tall as a person from foot to hip, according to Gorscak. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "Meet the New Titanosaur, a Giant That Fills in Dinosaur Fossil Gaps," 13 Feb. 2019 In the space of a week, the cut where the specimens were found produced 578 pounds of gold, RNC Minerals said on Sunday. James Rogers, Fox News, "Massive 'mother lode' of gold discovered in Australia," 12 Sep. 2018 The specimens include such plants as Catharanthus roseus, Madagascar periwinkle, which produces a compound used to treat cancer, and Artemisia annua, commonly known as sweet Annie, is used as a treatment for malaria. Seattle Sketcher Gabriel Campanario, The Seattle Times, "An almost-secret garden: UW’s Medicinal Herb Garden has been growing for 107 years," 17 Aug. 2018 Later, Arteaga saw a second, similar snake and took the specimens back to the lab. Alejandro Arteaga, National Geographic, "These 5 New Snake Species Suck Snails Out of Their Shells," 14 June 2018 Traditionally, collectors of high-end cars have gone to the ends of the Earth to protect the exact specifications of the original specimen. Hannah Elliott, latimes.com, "In car-obsessed L.A. area, David Lee spent $1 million to update an infamous Ferrari," 4 May 2018

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

1610, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for specimen

Latin, from specere to look at, look — more at spy

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Statistics for specimen

Last Updated

6 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for specimen

The first known use of specimen was in 1610

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More Definitions for specimen

specimen

noun

English Language Learners Definition of specimen

: something (such as an animal or plant) collected as an example of a particular kind of thing
: a small amount or piece of something that can be tested or examined
: a notable example of something

specimen

noun
spec·​i·​men | \ ˈspe-sə-mən How to pronounce specimen (audio) \

Kids Definition of specimen

1 : something collected as a sample or for examination
2 : a notable example of something The cathedral is a magnificent specimen of medieval architecture.
3 : an example of a type of person … the specimen of the British nobility present happened to be the most ordinary man of the party.— Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

specimen

noun
spec·​i·​men | \ ˈspes-(ə-)mən How to pronounce specimen (audio) \

Medical Definition of specimen

1 : an individual, item, or part typical of a group, class, or whole
2 : a portion or quantity of material for use in testing, examination, or study a urine specimen

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More from Merriam-Webster on specimen

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for specimen

Spanish Central: Translation of specimen

Nglish: Translation of specimen for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of specimen for Arabic Speakers

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