- 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").