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

Seventeen minor specimens of Modern and contemporary art by the likes of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Pablo Picasso, Alexander Calder and Damien Hirst suddenly catapult us almost 300 years into the future. Los Angeles Times, "Review: Unicorns are just one of the wild rides in the Getty’s marvelous ‘Book of Beasts’," 23 July 2019 There is no shelter from being a specimen on a petri dish, poked and prodded at by others who simply can’t understand your heritage or practices. High School Journalism Institute, oregonlive.com, "Student voices: Diverse perspectives, diverse faces," 17 July 2019 Breeders are keen to sell their wares so that the long years spent perfecting a specimen begin to pay for themselves. Bonnie Blodgett, Twin Cities, "Blundering Gardener: The things you think of — and cry about — when gardening," 13 July 2019 And those watching the video more as a anthropological specimen of what passes for entertainment these days (hi!) saw within its brief 45 seconds a kind of cultural echo chamber. Michael Andor Brodeur, BostonGlobe.com, "What we talk about when we talk about #BagelBoss," 11 July 2019 Prior to Okeanos Explorer's findings, only six individual specimens of these animals were known. Marcy De Luna, Houston Chronicle, "Rare sea life, including possibly new species discovered by NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer," 9 June 2019 While this shark was caught in 2010 during a mission to study sperm whale feeding, Grace first came across it in 2013 while examining specimens that were collected during the NOAA survey. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "New species of glow-in-the-dark shark found in Gulf of Mexico," 22 July 2019 County health officials assisted the California Department of Food and Agriculture in collecting environmental samples at the fairgrounds, but results from those specimens were not expected to be available until after the fair closed July 4. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Not in Kansas anymore: San Diego County Fair wraps up “Oz” themed run," 4 July 2019 Vintage-look plant hanger: Perfect for trailing or small specimen plants. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Colorful, whimsical or classic, yard art can enhance your garden’s overall appeal," 3 July 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

10 Aug 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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