from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An individual, item, or part representative of a class or whole. synonym: example.
  • noun An organism, part of an organism, or fossil that has been collected and usually preserved, especially for display or scientific research.
  • noun A sample, as of tissue, blood, or urine, used for analysis and diagnosis.
  • noun Informal An individual; a person.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A part or an individual taken as exemplifying a whole mass or number: something that represents or illustrates all of its kind; an illustrative example: as, a collection of geological specimens; a wild specimen of the human or of the feline race; a specimen page of a book (a page shown as a specimen of what the whole is or is to be); a specimen copy of a medal.
  • noun In zoology and botany, an individual animal or plant, or some part of one, prepared and preserved for scientific examination; an example of a species or other group; a preparation: as, a specimen of natural history; a specimen of the dog or the rose. Abbreviated sp. and spec.
  • noun A typical individual; one serving as a specially striking or exaggerated example of the kind indicated.
  • noun Synonyms Specimen, Sample. A specimen is a part of a larger whole employed to exhibit the nature or kind of that of which it forms a part, without reference to the relative quality of individual portions; thus, a cabinet of mineralogical specimens exhibits the nature of the rocks from which they are broken. A sample is a part taken out of a quantity, and implies that the quality of the whole is to be judged by it, and not rarely that it is to be used as a standard for testing the goodness, genuineness, or purity of the whole, and the like. In many cases, however, the words are used indifferently. Sample is more often used in trade: as, a sample of cotton or coffee.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A part, or small portion, of anything, or one of a number of things, intended to exhibit the kind and quality of the whole, or of what is not exhibited; a sample.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun An individual instance that represents a class; an example.
  • noun A sample, especially one used for diagnostic analysis.
  • noun humorous, often preceded with “fine” An eligible man.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a bit of tissue or blood or urine that is taken for diagnostic purposes
  • noun an example regarded as typical of its class


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Latin, example, from specere, to look at; see spek- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin specimen ("mark, sign, example"), from speciō ("observe, watch").


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  • All in all, this specimen is a strong contender for the second finest of the eight [now nine] known examples, despite the minor corrosion.

    Look What I Dug Up! 1817/4 Half Dollar : Coin Collecting News 2009

  • Given that some are invasive, only a specialist would be able to determine whether a specimen is a known endemic, an introduced species, or an undescribed species.

    Archive 2008-08-01 2008

  • One day, when this specimen is about to take a metal belt to him again, he discovers himself in his favorite spot in the local library.

    Archive 2007-06-01 Blue Tyson 2007

  • Discovered in mid-May 2007, the specimen is awaiting formal description once additional data is collected.

    Archive 2007-05-01 2007

  • One of several unsolved mysteries about the specimen is the identity of a bizarre, oddly shaped chunk of bone found encased in the same nodule (Dave Martill is holding it in the adjacent image).

    ‘Angloposeidon’, the unreported story, part IV Darren Naish 2006

  • One of several unsolved mysteries about the specimen is the identity of a bizarre, oddly shaped chunk of bone found encased in the same nodule (Dave Martill is holding it in the adjacent image).

    Archive 2006-07-01 Darren Naish 2006

  • While the specimen is about 1 m long, it only represents that part of the skull rostral to the antorbital fenestra.

    Archive 2006-02-01 Darren Naish 2006

  • As the example with the least amount of artificial wear, the Adams-Carter specimen is by far the most desirable of the three Class III dollars available to collectors today.

    CLASSIC RARITIES: Adams-Carter 1804 Class III Silver Dollar : Coin Collecting News 2009

  • · 1856-D PCGS MS61, Choice Brilliant Uncirculated-Fully frosty, choice brilliant uncirculated specimen from a small hoard that was discovered in the last quarter century.

    Coin Dealer Julian Leidman Victim of Vehicle Burglary. Reward Grows to $156,000 : Coin Collecting News 2009

  • "Baptised Palaeopropithecus kelyus, this new specimen is smaller than the two species of these 'large sloth lemurs' already known and its diet made up of harder-textured foodstuffs."

    Archive 2009-05-01 2009


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