adjective spe·cif·ic \spi-ˈsi-fik\

: special or particular

: clearly and exactly presented or stated : precise or exact

: relating to a particular person, situation, etc.

Full Definition of SPECIFIC

a :  constituting or falling into a specifiable category
b :  sharing or being those properties of something that allow it to be referred to a particular category
a :  restricted to a particular individual, situation, relation, or effect <a disease specific to horses>
b :  exerting a distinctive influence (as on a body part or a disease) <specific antibodies>
:  free from ambiguity :  accurate <a specific statement of faith>
:  of, relating to, or constituting a species and especially a biological species
a :  being any of various arbitrary physical constants and especially one relating a quantitative attribute to unit mass, volume, or area
b :  imposed at a fixed rate per unit (as of weight or count) <specific import duties> — compare ad valorem
spe·cif·i·cal·ly \-fi-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Origin of SPECIFIC

Late Latin specificus, from Latin species
First Known Use: circa 1631

Synonym Discussion of SPECIFIC

special, especial, specific, particular, individual mean of or relating to one thing or class. special stresses having a quality, character, identity, or use of its own <special ingredients>. especial may add implications of preeminence or preference <a matter of especial importance>. specific implies a quality or character distinguishing a kind or a species <children with specific nutritional needs>. particular stresses the distinctness of something as an individual <a ballet step of particular difficulty>. individual implies unequivocal reference to one of a class or group <valued each individual opinion>.

explicit, definite, express, specific mean perfectly clear in meaning. explicit implies such verbal plainness and distinctness that there is no need for inference and no room for difficulty in understanding <explicit instructions>. definite stresses precise, clear statement or arrangement that leaves no doubt or indecision <the law is definite in such cases>. express implies both explicitness and direct and positive utterance <her express wishes>. specific applies to what is precisely and fully treated in detail or particular <two specific criticisms>.



Definition of SPECIFIC

a :  something peculiarly adapted to a purpose or use
b :  a drug or remedy having a specific mitigating effect on a disease <used as a specific against malaria>
a :  a characteristic quality or trait
b :  details, particulars —usually used in plural <haggling over the legal and financial specifics of independence — Time>
c plural :  specification 2a

First Known Use of SPECIFIC


Rhymes with SPECIFIC

SPECIFIC Defined for Kids


adjective spe·cif·ic \spi-ˈsi-fik\

Definition of SPECIFIC for Kids

:  relating to or being an example of a certain kind of thing <a specific case>
:  relating to a particular individual or situation <There are problems specific to this project.>
:  clearly and exactly presented or stated <specific directions>
spe·cif·ic·al·ly \-ˈsi-fi-kə-lē\ adverb
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