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specialize

[spesh-uh-lahyz]
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verb (used without object), spe·cial·ized, spe·cial·iz·ing.
  1. to pursue some special line of study, work, etc.; have a specialty: The doctor specializes in gastroenterology.
  2. Biology. (of an organism or one of its organs) to be adapted to a special function or environment.
verb (used with object), spe·cial·ized, spe·cial·iz·ing.
  1. to render special or specific; invest with a special character, function, etc.
  2. to adapt to special conditions; restrict to specific limits.
  3. to restrict payment of (a negotiable instrument) by endorsing over to a specific payee.
  4. to specify; particularize.
Also especially British, spe·cial·ise.

Origin of specialize

From the French word spécialiser, dating back to 1605–15. See special, -ize
Related formsspe·cial·i·za·tion, nounnon·spe·cial·ized, adjectivenon·spe·cial·iz·ing, adjectiveo·ver·spe·cial·ize, verb, o·ver·spe·cial·ized, o·ver·spe·cial·iz·ing.pre·spe·cial·ize, verb (used without object), pre·spe·cial·ized, pre·spe·cial·iz·ing.sub·spe·cial·ize, verb, sub·spe·cial·ized, sub·spe·cial·iz·ing.su·per·spe·cial·ize, verb (used without object), su·per·spe·cial·ized, su·per·spe·cial·iz·ing.un·spe·cial·ized, adjectiveun·spe·cial·iz·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for specialize

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • You do not intend to specialize in criminal law, do you, Mr. Hamilton?

    The Crevice</p>

    William John Burns and Isabel Ostrander

  • You are going to take risks and specialize as an experiment.

  • The last two centers are divided into several sections that specialize in the training of particular classes of activists.

    Area Handbook for Romania</p>

    Eugene K. Keefe, Donald W. Bernier, Lyle E. Brenneman, William Giloane, James M. Moore, and Neda A. Walpole

  • But it is not probable that they will ever specialize to the same extent as men do.

    Woman in Science</p>

    John Augustine Zahm

  • She thinks she will specialize on astronomylearn what the constellations are, you know.

    Winona of the Camp Fire

    Margaret Widdemer


British Dictionary definitions for specialize

specialize

specialise

verb
  1. (intr) to train in or devote oneself to a particular area of study, occupation, or activity
  2. (usually passive) to cause (organisms or their parts) to develop in a way most suited to a particular environment or way of life or (of organisms, etc) to develop in this way
  3. (tr) to modify or make suitable for a special use or purpose
  4. (tr) to mention specifically; specify
  5. (tr) to endorse (a commercial paper) to a specific payee
Derived Formsspecialization or specialisation, noun
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 specialize

v.

1610s, "to indicate specially," from special + -ize. Sense of "engage in a special study or line of business" is first attested 1881; biological sense is from 1851. Related: Specialized; specializing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

specialize in Medicine

specialize

([object Object])
v.
  1. To limit one's profession to a particular specialty or subject area for study, research, or treatment.
  2. To adapt to a particular function or environment.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

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