specimen

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noun spec·i·men \ˈspes-mən, ˈspe-sə-\

Definition of specimen

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

  2. 2a :  something that obviously belongs to a particular category but is noticed by reason of an individual distinguishing characteristicb :  person, individual he's a tough specimen

  3. 3 :  a plant grown for exhibition or in the open to display its full development specimen trees

Examples of specimen in a Sentence

  1. The church is a magnificent specimen of baroque architecture.

  2. Her dance partner is a superb physical specimen.

Recent Examples of specimen from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of specimen

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

Synonym Discussion of 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

SPECIMEN Defined for English Language Learners

specimen

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noun

Definition of specimen for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

specimen

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noun spec·i·men \ˈspe-sə-mən\

Definition of specimen for Students

  1. 1 :  something collected as a sample or for examination

  2. 2 :  a notable example of something The cathedral is a magnificent specimen of medieval architecture.

  3. 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

Word Root of specimen

The Latin word specere, meaning “to look” or “to look at,” gives us the roots spec, spic, and spect. Words from the Latin specere have something to do with looking or watching. A spectator is a person who watches something, such as a sports event. Anything conspicuous is easy to see. To inspect is to look very closely at all parts of something. A specimen, or sample, is one example or one part that can show what the rest look like.


Medical Dictionary

specimen

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noun spec·i·men \ˈspes-(ə-)mən\

Medical Definition of specimen

  1. 1:  an individual, item, or part typical of a group, class, or whole

  2. 2:  a portion or quantity of material for use in testing, examination, or study a urine specimen



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