WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2015
spe•cif•ic /spɪˈsɪfɪk/USA pronunciation
adj. WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2015
- having a special purpose or reference; explicit or definite:a specific use for a tool.
- specified, precise, or particular; exact:What is the specific time the train will arrive?
- proper to only certain persons or things[be + ~ + to + object]This symptom is specific to those who have high blood pressure.
spec•i•fic•i•ty /ˌspɛsəˈfɪsɪti/USA pronunciation n. [uncountable]See -spec-.
- something specific, as a statement or detail:Those are the general principles; now let's look at the specifics and how they apply to each of us.
(spi sif′ik), adj.
- having a special application, bearing, or reference;
specifying, explicit, or definite:to state one's specific purpose.
- specified, precise, or particular:a specific sum of money.
- peculiar or proper to somebody or something, as qualities, characteristics, effects, etc.:His specific problems got him into trouble.
- of a special or particular kind.
- concerned specifically with the item or subject named (used in combination):The Secretary addressed himself to crop-specific problems.
- Biology[Biol.]of or pertaining to a species:specific characters.
- (of a disease) produced by a special cause or infection.
Immunology[Immunol.](of an antibody or antigen) having a particular effect on only one antibody or antigen or affecting it in only one way.
Business[Com.]noting customs or duties levied in fixed amounts per unit, as number, weight, or volume.
- (of a remedy) having special effect in the prevention or cure of a certain disease.
- designating a physical constant that, for a particular substance, is expressed as the ratio of the quantity in the substance to the quantity in an equal volume of a standard substance, as water or air.
- designating a physical constant that expresses a property or effect as a quantity per unit length, area, volume, or mass.
- something specific, as a statement, quality, detail, etc.
- Medicine[Med.]a specific remedy:There is no specific for the common cold.
1 . See special.
2 . vague.
- Medieval Latin specificus, equivalent. to Latin speci(ēs) species + -ficus -fic
Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
specific /spɪˈsɪfɪk/ adj
- explicit, particular, or definite
- relating to a specified or particular thing: a specific treatment for arthritis
- of or relating to a biological species
- (of a disease) caused by a particular pathogenic agent
- characteristic of a property of a particular substance, esp in relation to the same property of a standard reference substance: specific gravity
- characteristic of a property of a particular substance per unit mass, length, area, volume, etc: specific heat
- (of an extensive physical quantity) divided by mass: specific heat capacity, specific volume
- denoting a tariff levied at a fixed sum per unit of weight, quantity, volume, etc, irrespective of value
Etymology: 17th Century: from Medieval Latin specificus, from Latin speciesspeˈcifically adv specificity /ˌspɛsɪˈfɪsɪtɪ/ n
- (sometimes plural) a designated quality, thing, etc
- any drug used to treat a particular disease
'specificity' also found in these entries: