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[spes-uh-fis-i-tee] /ˌspɛs əˈfɪs ɪ ti/
the quality or state of being specific.
Biochemistry, Pharmacology. the selective attachment or influence of one substance on another, as an antibiotic and its target organism or an antibody and its specific antigen.
Origin of specificity
First recorded in 1875-80; specific + -ity
Related forms
nonspecificity, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Word Origin and History for specificity

1876, from French spécificité or else a native formation from specific + -ity.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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specificity in Medicine

specificity spec·i·fic·i·ty (spěs'ə-fĭs'ĭ-tē)

  1. The condition or state of being specific.

  2. The statistical probability that an individual who does not have the particular disease being tested for will be correctly identified as negative, expressed as the proportion of true negative results to the total of true negative and false positive results.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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