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

  • noun The act of specifying.
  • noun A detailed, exact statement of particulars, especially a statement prescribing materials, dimensions, and quality of work for something to be built, installed, or manufactured.
  • noun A single item or article that has been specified.
  • noun An exact written description of an invention by an applicant for a patent.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun An act of specifying, or making a detailed statement, or the statement so made; a definite or formal mention of particulars: as, a specification of one's requirements.
  • noun An article, item, or particular specified; a special point, detail, or reckoning upon which a claim, an accusation, an estimate, a plan, or an assertion is based: as, the specifications of an architect or an engineer, of an indictment, etc.; the specification of the third charge against a prisoner; statements unsupported by specifications.
  • noun The act of making specific, or the state of having a specific character; reference to or correlation with a species or kind; determination of species or specific relation.
  • noun In patent law, the applicant's description of the manner of constructing and using his invention.
  • noun in civil law, the formation of a new property from materials belonging to another person. Specification exists where a person works up materials belonging to another into something which must be taken to be a new substance—for example, where whisky is made from corn. The effect is that the owner of the materials loses his property in them, and has only an action for the value of them against the person by whom they have been used. The doctrine originates in the civil law, but has been adopted by the common law, under the name of confusion and accession, at least where the person making the spccification acts in good faith.
  • noun Same as law of specification.

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

  • noun The act of specifying or determining by a mark or limit; notation of limits.
  • noun The designation of particulars; particular mention.
  • noun A written statement containing a minute description or enumeration of particulars, as of charges against a public officer, the terms of a contract, the description of an invention, as in a patent; also, a single article, item, or particular, an allegation of a specific act, as in a charge of official misconduct.
  • noun A detailed listing or description of the required properties of some object proposed to be built or bought; -- usually used in the plural.

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

  • noun An explicit set of requirements to be satisfied by a material, product, or service.

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

  • noun naming explicitly
  • noun a restriction that is insisted upon as a condition for an agreement
  • noun a detailed description of design criteria for a piece of work
  • noun (patent law) a document drawn up by the applicant for a patent of invention that provides an explicit and detailed description of the nature and use of an invention


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Medieval Latin specificationem (accusative of specificatio)


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word specification.



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