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specific Line breaks: spe|cif¦ic
Pronunciation: /spəˈsɪfɪk/

Definition of specific in English:


1Clearly defined or identified: savings were made by increasing the electricity supply only until it met specific development needs
More example sentences
  • You must identify clearly the specific children for whom you are making the request.
  • Clearly defined and specific objectives provide yardsticks for measurement.
  • In this work it is hard to identify specific organs, aside from the pair of yellow mounds at one end that appear to represent lungs.
particular, specified, certain, fixed, set, determined, distinct, separate, definite, single, individual, peculiar, discrete, express, precise
1.1Precise and clear in making statements or issuing instructions: when ordering goods be specific
More example sentences
  • A friend of mine sent me a copy of the May 2000 issue with specific instructions to read your article.
  • Refer to current labels for specific details and instructions.
  • While I'm not exactly clear on the specific details, I believe that he is valued by both sides.
1.2Belonging or relating uniquely to a particular subject: information needs are often very specific to individuals
More example sentences
  • Some events are specific to a particular ethnic group.
  • Whether they are valid or not is specific to each particular situation.
  • Each disc comes with a documentary unique to the specific subject matter and a general documentary about the show itself.
2 Biology Relating to species or a species: the differences between them can only be on the specific level
3(Of a duty or a tax) levied at a fixed rate per physical unit of the thing taxed, regardless of its price.
Example sentences
  • All specific excise taxes are unfair in that no tax contribution is made by non-consumers.
4 Physics Of or denoting a number equal to the ratio of the value of some property of a given substance to the value of the same property of some other substance used as a reference, such as water, or of a vacuum, under equivalent conditions: specific dielectric strength
4.1Of or denoting a physical quantity expressed in terms of a unit mass, volume, or other measure, in order to give a value independent of the properties or scale of the particular system studied: specific conductance


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1chiefly dated A medicine or remedy effective in treating a particular disease or part of the body: he grasped at the idea as though she had offered him a specific for cancer
More example sentences
  • Licorice root is a specific for low adrenal function.
2 (usually specifics) A precise detail: I wish I’d put more thought into the specifics
More example sentences
  • The by-laws of the association detail the specifics.
  • She is keener to discuss life in philosophical terms than the specifics of her new novel.
  • I just want to focus in on defining the specifics of the issues.


Mid 17th century (originally in the sense 'having a special determining quality'): from late Latin specificus, from Latin species (see species).



they don’t talk specifically about education [sentence adverb]: these are war, or more specifically anti-war, novels
More example sentences
  • Is there anything you have to say specifically about the position of the husband?
  • Some antenatal care is specifically directed at monitoring the development of the baby.
  • Not a shred of evidence was directed specifically to public user of the route.


Pronunciation: /ˌspɛsɪˈfɪsɪti/
Example sentences
  • He has got to answer the questions with detail, with specificity.
  • Does your interest in the specificity of a site relate to your sculptural past?
  • It's a call for specificity and clarity - worthwhile aims in any kind of writing.


Example sentences
  • I miss in obvious ways the intensity and specificness a particular book can have at a particular time.

Words that rhyme with specific

anaglyphic, beatific, calorific, colorific, hieroglyphic, honorific, horrific, Indo-Pacific, pacific, prolific, scientific, soporific, terrific, transpacific, triglyphic

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Word of the day innocuous
Pronunciation: ɪˈnɒkjʊəs
not harmful or offensive