- built, done, bought, etc., as a speculation: the construction of spec houses.
- to provide specifications for: Their newest truck was spec'd by a computer.
- on spec, made, built, or done with hopes of but no assurance of payment or a sale; without commitment by a client or buyer: ad illustrations done on spec; luxury homes built on spec and sold before completion.
Origin of spec
An Americanism dating back to 1785–95; by shortening
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- on spec as a speculation or gambleall the tickets were sold so I went to the theatre on spec
- (prenominal) Australian and NZ speculativea spec developer
C19: short for speculation or speculative
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for spec'ing
short for specification, 1956. Related: Specs.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Idioms and Phrases with spec'ing
see on spec.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.