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

  • adj. Of or relating to an infection not known to be caused by a specific pathogen: nonspecific urethritis.
  • adj. Of or relating to immunity that occurs naturally as a result of a person's genetic makeup or physiology and does not arise from a previous infection or vaccination.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. not specific
  • adj. not caused by a specific pathogen
  • adj. not caused by previous infection or vaccination
  • adj. that does not just stain one type of tissue

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

  • adj. not caused by a specific agent; used also of staining in making microscope slides


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Formerly known as nonspecific vaginitis, or Gardnerella, the name of this disease was changed to bacterial vaginosis BV when researchers discovered how many different strains of bacteria were capable of causing essentially the same type of vaginal infection.

    Getting Pregnant

  • [24] be called a nonspecific factor - namely, labor.

    Mises Dailies

  • About 20 percent of folks with arachnoid cysts do have headaches, but they're kind of nonspecific and rarely do they require any specific treatment.

    CNN Transcript Dec 28, 2009

  • Scientists have shown that the D-L test was nonspecific, meaning it rendered false positives what's new online!

  • That creates problems during standard post-deployment screenings, when returning veterans are asked what the authors called "nonspecific" questions, such as whether they were "dazed" or "confused" at the time of an injury or blast "experience."

    Marine Corps Times - News

  • Symptoms of depression fall into a category that my medical school mentors called "nonspecific," meaning that they are symptoms often associated with several diseases and are not specifically suggestive of a particular disease.

  • Schizophrenia has been described as a nonspecific disease by the psychiatric profession. [

    Random feeds from

  • He said the FBI told him the information was "nonspecific," adding that his organization has already implemented the kinds of enhanced security measures that the FBI advised. "

    What's Behind Latest 'Orange Alert'

  • "nonspecific," meaning they could have been a sign of any number of diseases, including a common cold or the flu.

    The Seattle Times

  • A common first step in treating nonspecific lower back pain is to apply heat and take a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug such as ibuprofen.

    Deepak Chopra: Health Tip 19: Watch Your Back!‏


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.