specimen

noun
spec·​i·​men | \ ˈspes-mən, 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

The finds offer hope that more artifacts and specimens, currently believed destroyed, may yet emerge from the rubble. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Ancient skull found among debris in burned Brazilian museum," 25 Oct. 2018 These long, very slender, seedless specimens are typically sold shrink-wrapped with plastic to protect their thin skins. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "Everything You Need to Know About Growing Crisp Cucumbers," 12 July 2018 Such a person may bring along frightening specimens of these pests or fragments of wood riddled with termite channels and pretend to find them in your house. Leah Napoliello, Houston Chronicle, "BBB on Homes: Move quickly against ‘silent destroyers’," 20 May 2018 The trees are callery pears, the escaped offspring of landscape specimens and street trees from the neighborhood. Adrian Higgins, The Seattle Times, "Scientists thought they had created the perfect tree. But it became a nightmare.," 17 Sep. 2018 Imprudently, Prokopi fights the forfeiture and, according to Ms. Williams, continues trying to sell his other specimens from Mongolia on the side. Richard Conniff, WSJ, "‘The Dinosaur Artist’ Review: Old Bones Are Big Business," 6 Sep. 2018 One of the older such specimens ever discovered, the find is around 210 million years old. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Ancient Flyer: New Extremely Old Pterosaur Found in Utah," 13 Aug. 2018 In fact, some of these specimens have been hidden away since 1902 explains Charlotte Seid, collection manager at Scripps. Cliff Kapono, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Boom! Pow! Zap! The superheroes of the sea have invaded Birch Aquarium," 3 July 2018 Researchers compared the dinosaurs’ hyoids to those of modern specimens, and published their findings this week in the journal PLOS One. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Actually, T. Rex Probably Couldn’t Stick Out Its Tongue," 22 June 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

12 Jan 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 \

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 \

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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