Synonyms & Antonyms of specific

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 of a particular or exact sort
  • we need a specific type of pen to sign the diplomas

Synonyms for specific

Words Related to specific

Near Antonyms for specific

Antonyms for specific

2 so clearly expressed as to leave no doubt about the meaning
  • specific instructions regarding the interrogation of prisoners

Synonyms for specific

Words Related to specific

Near Antonyms for specific

Antonyms for specific



Synonyms & Antonyms of specific (Entry 2 of 2)

2 a single piece of information
  • although the speech was long on rhetoric and platitudinous generalities, it lacked specifics

Synonyms for specific

Words Related to specific

Near Antonyms for specific

3 something that sets apart an individual from others of the same kind
  • the two submissions differ only in certain specifics

Synonyms for specific

Words Related to specific

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About specific

How does the adjective specific differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of specific are especial, individual, particular, and special. While all these words mean "of or relating to one thing or class," specific implies a quality or character distinguishing a kind or a species.

children with specific nutritional needs

Where would especial be a reasonable alternative to specific?

The words especial and specific can be used in similar contexts, but especial may add implications of preeminence or preference.

a matter of especial importance

When can individual be used instead of specific?

While the synonyms individual and specific are close in meaning, individual implies unequivocal reference to one of a class or group.

valued each individual opinion

When could particular be used to replace specific?

The synonyms particular and specific are sometimes interchangeable, but particular stresses the distinctness of something as an individual.

a ballet step of particular difficulty

When is it sensible to use special instead of specific?

In some situations, the words special and specific are roughly equivalent. However, special stresses having a quality, character, identity, or use of its own.

special ingredients

Learn More About specific

Time Traveler for specific

Time Traveler

The first known use of specific was circa 1631

See more words from the same year

Thesaurus Entries Near specific




See More Nearby Entries 

Cite this Entry

“Specific.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on specific

Nglish: Translation of specific for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of specific for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!