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specific Syllabification: spe·cif·ic
Pronunciation: /spəˈsifik/

Definition of specific in English:


1Clearly defined or identified: 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, fixed, set, determined, distinct, 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.
detailed, explicit, express, clear-cut, unequivocal, precise, exact, meticulous, strict, definite
1.2Belonging or relating uniquely to a particular subject: information needs are often very specific to companies and 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 Of, relating to, or connected with species or a species.
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.
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.


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1 dated A medicine or remedy effective in treating a particular disease or part of the body.
Example sentences
  • Licorice root is a specific for low adrenal function.
2 (usually specifics) A precise detail: he worked through the specifics of the contract
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).



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: /ˌspesəˈfisədē/
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.

Words that rhyme with specific

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

Definition of specific in:

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