[ spek ]
/ spɛk /
built, done, bought, etc., as a speculation: the construction of spec houses.
verb (used with object), spec'd or specked or specced, spec'·ing or speck·ing or spec·cing.
to provide specifications for: Their newest truck was spec'd by a computer.
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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
Related formsspec·’er, speck·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for on spec
/ (spɛk) informal /
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
Word Origin for spec
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
Idioms and Phrases with on spec (1 of 2)
Done on a speculative basis; with no assurance of profit. For example, We didn't design our house; the builder built it on spec. The use of spec as an abbreviation for speculation dates from the late 1700s.
Idioms and Phrases with on spec (2 of 2)
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.