- The definition of specific is someone or something unique, distinctive or definite.
An example of specific is someone saying exactly which jacket they want someone to grab for them.
- Specific is someone or something that is specially suited for a purpose or need.
An example of specific is using pruning shears to prune a tree.
- limiting or limited; specifying or specified; precise; definite; explicit: no specific plans
- of or constituting a species
- peculiar to or characteristic of something: specific traits
- of a special, or particular, sort or kind
- specially indicated as a cure for a particular disease: a specific remedy
- produced by a particular microorganism: a specific disease
- Physics designating a certain constant characteristic of a substance or phenomenon measured against some arbitrary, fixed standard of reference or expressed as an amount per unit area, unit volume, etc.
Origin of specificLate Latin specificus from Classical Latin species (see species) + -ficus, -fic
- something specially suited for a given use or purpose
- a specific cure or remedy
- a distinct item or detail; particular
- a. Explicitly set forth; definite: wrote specific instructions. See Synonyms at explicit.b. Clear or detailed in communicating: Be specific when telling us what you need.
- a. Limited, distinctive, or unique: problems specific to small colleges.b. Intended for, applying to, or acting on a particular thing: a specific remedy for warts.c. Concerned particularly with the subject specified. Often used in combination: “age-specific voting patterns” ( A. Dianne Schmidley )
- Relating to, characterizing, or distinguishing a species: a specific name.
- a. Designating a disease produced by a particular microorganism or condition.b. Having a remedial influence or effect on a particular disease.
- Immunology Having an affinity limited to a particular antibody or antigen.
- a. Designating a customs charge levied on merchandise by unit or weight rather than according to value.b. Designating a commodity rate applicable to the transportation of a single commodity between named points.
- a. Something particularly fitted to a use or purpose.b. A remedy intended for a particular ailment or disorder.
- a. A distinguishing quality or attribute.b. specifics Distinct items or details; particulars.
Origin of specificMedieval Latin specificus Latin speciēs kind, species ; see species . Latin -ficus -fic
(comparative more specific, superlative most specific)
- explicit or definite
- (sciences) Pertaining to a species.
- (taxonomy) pertaining to a taxon at the rank of species
- special, distinctive or unique
- intended for, or applying to a particular thing
- being a remedy for a particular disease
- Quinine is a specific medicine in cases of malaria.
- (immunology) limited to a particular antibody or antigen
- (physics) of a value divided by mass (e.g. specific orbital energy)
- (physics) similarly referring to a value divided by any measure which acts to standardize it (e.g. thrust specific fuel consumption, referring to fuel consumption divided by thrust)
- (physics) a measure compared with a standard reference value by division, to produce a ratio without unit or dimension (e.g. specific refractive index is a pure number, and is relative to that of air)
From Old French specifique, from Late Latin specificus (“specific, particular"), from Latin speciÄ“s (“kind") + faciÅ (“make").