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

Meiborg chose a black oak planted in 1992, a hardy specimen capable of reaching 60 feet and living for more than a century. John Keilman, chicagotribune.com, "After daughter’s memorial tree was unexpectedly taken down, mom received support from friends and strangers. Now two trees will honor teen’s life.," 10 July 2019 Much like his brother, Oregon sophomore left tackle Penei Sewell, 247Sports four-star jumbo athlete Noah Sewell is an athletic specimen. oregonlive.com, "Noah Sewell, key Oregon Ducks LB target, recognized for stellar athletic testing numbers," 9 July 2019 With alternating bands of brown and pale yellow, this was a beautiful specimen. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Who knew snakes drink water?," 29 June 2019 The variegation is an irregular white streaking and makes quite a striking specimen. Paul Cappiello, The Courier-Journal, "Why do some garden leaves turn green, white and yellow? Foliage decoded," 14 June 2019 In 2003, Hebert proposed the DNA barcode concept: that animal species could be distinguished by sequencing less than 1000 bases of mitochondrial DNA from a specimen. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, "$180 million DNA 'barcode' project aims to discover 2 million new species," 6 June 2019 The species lived in this region but is known only from a partial specimen. Eric Betz, Discover Magazine, "Tyrannosaurus Rex: Scary. Smart. Social?," 12 Apr. 2019 But historically, much of what scientists knew about giant squid came from dead specimens that had washed up on shore or had been recovered from the bellies of sperm whales, Smithsonian Magazine reported. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "Scientists capture historic video of a giant squid," 23 June 2019 But historically, much of what scientists knew about giant squid came from dead specimens that had washed up on shore or had been recovered from the bellies of sperm whales, Smithsonian Magazine reported. nola.com, "Watch: Rare video of giant squid in Gulf of Mexico’s ‘midnight zone’," 23 June 2019

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

13 Jul 2019

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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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