• synonyms


See more synonyms for spec on Thesaurus.com
  1. Usually specs. specification(def 2).
  2. speculation.
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  1. built, done, bought, etc., as a speculation: the construction of spec houses.
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verb (used with object), spec'd or specked or specced, spec'·ing or speck·ing or spec·cing.
  1. to provide specifications for: Their newest truck was spec'd by a computer.
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  1. 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.
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Origin of spec

An Americanism dating back to 1785–95; by shortening
Related formsspec·’er, speck·er, noun


plural noun Informal.
  1. spectacles; eyeglasses.
  2. specifications.
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Origin of specs

First recorded in 1800–10; by shortening


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for spec

purchase, financing, transaction, finance, grant, money, loan, stake, property, expenditure, asset, venture, contribution, expense, blueprint, stipulation, spec, plunge, deal, undertaking

Examples from the Web for spec

Contemporary Examples of spec

Historical Examples of spec

  • "Spec she's taken dem dogs a walkin'," said black Deborah unconcernedly.

  • "Da-da-dat is, er—I spec' so—er—I dun'no', ma'm," he stammered.

  • I even added grimly that I knew only too well how that sort of spec.

  • Like Topsy one can but "'spec' it growed" rather than was created.


    Beatrice Fortescue

  • I 'spec' you must finish him up, and let's see what he wants of us.'

    Oldtown Fireside Stories

    Harriet Beecher Stowe

British Dictionary definitions for spec


  1. on spec as a speculation or gambleall the tickets were sold so I went to the theatre on spec
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  1. (prenominal) Australian and NZ speculativea spec developer
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Word Origin for spec

C19: short for speculation or speculative


abbreviation for
  1. specification
  2. speculation
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pl n informal
  1. short for spectacles
  2. short for specificationsSee specification
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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


short for specification, 1956. Related: Specs.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with spec


see on spec.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.