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

  • adjective Explicitly set forth; definite: synonym: explicit.
  • adjective Clear or detailed in communicating.
  • adjective Limited, distinctive, or unique.
  • adjective Intended for, applying to, or acting on a particular thing.
  • adjective Concerned particularly with the subject specified. Often used in combination.
  • adjective Relating to, characterizing, or distinguishing a species.
  • adjective Designating a disease produced by a particular microorganism or condition.
  • adjective Having a remedial influence or effect on a particular disease.
  • adjective Immunology Having an affinity limited to a particular antibody or antigen.
  • adjective Designating a customs charge levied on merchandise by unit or weight rather than according to value.
  • adjective Designating a commodity rate applicable to the transportation of a single commodity between named points.
  • noun Something particularly fitted to a use or purpose.
  • noun A remedy intended for a particular ailment or disorder.
  • noun A distinguishing quality or attribute.
  • noun Distinct items or details; particulars.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A definite substance in the serum of an animal that gives rise to a special kind of immunity.
  • That is specified or defined; distinctly named, formulated, or determined; of a special kind or a definite tenor; determinate; explicit: as, a specific sum of money; a specific offer; specific, obligations or duties; a specific aim or pursuit.
  • Pertaining to or accordant with what is specified or determined; relating to or regarding a definite subject; conformable to special occasion or requirement, prescribed terms, or known conditions; having a special use or application.
  • Of or pertaining to a species.
  • Peculiar; special.
  • In law, having a certain or well-defined form or designation; observing a certain form; precise.
  • In medicine, related to special infection, particularly syphilitic infection; produced by some distinct zymotic poison.
  • Synonyms and
  • Particular, etc. See special.
  • noun Something adapted or expected to produce a specific effect; that which is, or is supposed to be, capable of infallibly bringing about a desired result; especially, a remedy which cures, or tends to cure, a certain disease, whatever may be its manifestations, as mercury used as a remedy for syphilis.

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

  • noun (Med.) A specific remedy. See specific, a., 3.
  • noun Anything having peculiar adaption to the purpose to which it is applied.
  • adjective Of or pertaining to a species; characterizing or constituting a species; possessing the peculiar property or properties of a thing which constitute its species, and distinguish it from other things
  • adjective Specifying; definite, or making definite; limited; precise; discriminating.
  • adjective (Med.) Exerting a peculiar influence over any part of the body; preventing or curing disease by a peculiar adaptation, and not on general principles.
  • adjective (Nat. Hist.) a characteristic or characteristics distinguishing one species from every other species of the same genus.
  • adjective (Med.) A disease which is itself uniformly produced by a definite and peculiar poison or organism.
  • adjective (Com.) See under Duty.
  • adjective (Physics) See under Gravity.
  • adjective (Physics) the quantity of heat required to raise the temperature of a body one degree, taking as the unit of measure the quantity required to raise the same weight of water from zero to one degree.
  • adjective (Physics) the effect of a dielectric body in producing static electric induction as compared with that of some other body or bodies referred to as a standard.
  • adjective (Law) a bequest of a particular thing, as of a particular animal or piece of furniture, specified and distinguished from all others.
  • adjective (Nat. Hist.) the name which, appended to the name of the genus, constitutes the distinctive name of the species; -- originally applied by Linnæus to the essential character of the species, or the essential difference. The present specific name he at first called the trivial name.
  • adjective (Law) the peformance of a contract or agreement as decreed by a court of equity.

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

  • adjective explicit or definite
  • adjective sciences Pertaining to a species.
  • adjective taxonomy pertaining to a taxon at the rank of species
  • adjective special, distinctive or unique
  • adjective intended for, or applying to a particular thing


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

[Medieval Latin specificus : Latin speciēs, kind, species; see species + Latin -ficus, -fic.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French specifique, from Late Latin specificus ("specific, particular"), from Latin speciēs ("kind") + faciō ("make").


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    January 25, 2007