Definition of specify in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈspɛsɪfʌɪ/

verb (specifies, specifying, specified)

[with object]
1Identify clearly and definitely: the coup leader promised an election but did not specify a date
More example sentences
  • The Claimant is not able to specify the identity of the items ordered for each of the sales listed.
  • Plans did not specify the identity of any tenants in the proposed project.
  • The Secretary of State must identify and specify the relevant law of the United Kingdom.
state, name, identify, define, describe, set out, set down, draw up, frame, itemize, designate, detail, list, spell out, enumerate, particularize, catalogue, cite, instance, be specific about;
stipulate, prescribe, order, command, ordain
rare individuate
1.1 [with clause] State a fact or requirement clearly and precisely: the agency failed to specify that the workers were not their employees
More example sentences
  • It does not specify that a society must establish a system of state-funded education.
  • Regulations may specify that certain details must be given every time a person is offering an extended warranty to a consumer.
  • I forgot to specify that in my description.
1.2Include in an architect’s or engineer’s specifications: naval architects specified circular portholes
More example sentences
  • When architects design buildings and specify construction materials, they are responsible for that building's energy consumption pattern for its lifetime.
  • Do you put up with an architect who specifies beams in places that get in the way of your intended use of the building?
  • Duties included specifying the materials to be used in the construction and fitting out of the factory.



Pronunciation: /spɛsɪˈfʌɪəb(ə)l/
Example sentences
  • Delay to product distribution could only be permitted if a member state had grounds for suspecting specifiable risks to health or the environment.
  • It is always answerable to some set of independently specifiable practical goals.
  • When or how generosity is shown is not precisely specifiable.


Example sentences
  • This may be a specifier's nightmare.
  • It offers the specifier excellent choice.
  • The specifier should explain the risks and associated consequences to the owner before the project begins.


Middle English: from Old French specifier or late Latin specificare (see specific).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: spe|cify

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