- built, done, bought, etc., as a speculation: the construction of spec houses.
- to provide specifications for: Their newest truck was spec'd by a computer.
- 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
- spectacles; eyeglasses.
Origin of specs
First recorded in 1800–10; by shortening
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for spec
A Facebook photo shows four of them, 28-year-old Staff Sgt Francis Phillips, 19-year-old Spec.
Cody Towse, 29-year-old Sgt.1st Class Jeffrey Baker, 24-year-old Spec.
Then comes the spec, circus slang for the spectacle that opens the show.Giovanni Zoppé’s Real-Life Family Circus
October 21, 2012
The director, Peter Hermes, had an online sample reel of previous work that included a spec Doritos commercial.Two California Women Turn Themselves Into Real-Life Versions of Thelma and Louise
January 7, 2012
Richard Rushfield is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and the author of On Spec: A Novel of Young Hollywood.Memories in the Facebook Age
November 26, 2009
"Spec she's taken dem dogs a walkin'," said black Deborah unconcernedly.The Inn at the Red Oak
"Da-da-dat is, er—I spec' so—er—I dun'no', ma'm," he stammered.Southern Lights and Shadows
I even added grimly that I knew only too well how that sort of spec.'Twixt Land & Sea
Like Topsy one can but "'spec' it growed" rather than was created.Holbein
I 'spec' you must finish him up, and let's see what he wants of us.'Oldtown Fireside Stories
Harriet Beecher Stowe
- 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
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
Word Origin and History for spec
short for specification, 1956. Related: Specs.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Idioms and Phrases with spec
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.