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2017 Word of the Year

specification

[spes-uh-fi-key-shuh n] /ˌspɛs ə fɪˈkeɪ ʃən/
noun
1.
the act of specifying.
2.
Usually, specifications. a detailed description or assessment of requirements, dimensions, materials, etc., as of a proposed building, machine, bridge, etc.
3.
a particular item, aspect, calculation, etc., in such a description.
4.
something specified, as in a bill of particulars; a specified particular, item, or article.
5.
an act of making specific.
6.
the state of having a specific character.
Origin of specification
1605-1615
1605-15; < Medieval Latin specificātiōn- (stem of specificātiō), equivalent to specificāt(us) (past participle of specificāre to mention, describe; see specific, -ate1) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
nonspecification, noun
prespecification, noun
respecification, noun
superspecification, noun
Synonyms
4. requirement, condition, qualification.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for specification
Historical Examples
  • In this specification of personal supplication we are taught to expect only as we deserve.

    Jesus the Christ James Edward Talmage
  • The law contained no specification of the mutual rights and duties of the spouses.

    Folkways

    William Graham Sumner
  • No specification of the time and circumstances can be made which will stand examination.

    Folkways

    William Graham Sumner
  • Some examples of the process of specification will be useful.

    The Common Law Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
  • Things were not being done, he felt, according to specification.

    Long Live the King Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • She specified, and underlined the specification, that I was to come "right off, and in the automobile."

    Americans All Various
  • No specification is made as to the size of the shotgun to be used.

    Frank of Freedom Hill Samuel A. Derieux
  • The specification of the allotments need not detain us long.

  • The law of specification, of distinction, runs through the universe.

  • It is a specification that emerges, correspondently, in both datum and ideatum.

British Dictionary definitions for specification

specification

/ˌspɛsɪfɪˈkeɪʃən/
noun
1.
the act or an instance of specifying
2.
(in patent law) a written statement accompanying an application for a patent that describes the nature of an invention
3.
a detailed description of the criteria for the constituents, construction, appearance, performance, etc, of a material, apparatus, etc, or of the standard of workmanship required in its manufacture
4.
an item, detail, etc, specified
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
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Word Origin and History for specification
n.

1610s, "act of investing with some quality," from Medieval Latin specificationem (nominative specificatio), from Latin species "kind, sort" (see species) + -ficus, unstressed comb. form of facere "to make, do." Meaning "technical particular" is attested from 1833; short form spec first attested 1956.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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22
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