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specialty

[spesh-uhl-tee]
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noun, plural spe·cial·ties.
  1. a special or distinctive quality, mark, state, or condition.
  2. a special subject of study, line of work, area of interest, or the like: His specialty is art criticism.
  3. an article or service particularly dealt in, rendered, manufactured, etc., or one to which the provider, dealer, or manufacturer claims to devote special care: The manufacturer's specialty is fine hats.
  4. an article of unusual or superior design or quality.
  5. a novelty; a new article.
  6. an article with such strong consumer demand that it is at least partially removed from price competition.
  7. a special or particular point, item, matter, characteristic, or peculiarity.
  8. Law.
    1. a special agreement, contract, etc., expressed in an instrument under seal.
    2. a negotiable instrument not under seal.
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adjective
  1. Theater. (in vaudeville)
    1. performing or performed in a manner that is unusual or not customary for a type of act, especially a performance involving dexterity or ingenuity, as a patter song: specialty actor; specialty act.
    2. (of a song or dance) isolated from the rest of the show: specialty number.
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Also especially British, speciality.

Origin of specialty

1300–50; Middle English specialte < Middle French especialte < Late Latin speciālitās. See special, -ity
Can be confusedespecially specially specialty (see synonym study at especially)

Synonyms for specialty

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

Related Words for specialties

hobby, major, masterpiece, profession, speciality, practice, thing, career, weakness, work, game, number, forte, job, minor, pursuit, racket, vocation, special, occupation

Examples from the Web for specialties

Contemporary Examples of specialties

Historical Examples of specialties

  • She has no dates, nor rites, nor persons, nor specialties nor men.

    Essays, First Series

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • But all these things were exactly the young engineer's specialties.

    Herbert Hoover

    Vernon Kellogg

  • He was cursed with the curse of the age; it was an age of specialties, and he had none.

    Garrison's Finish

    W. B. M. Ferguson

  • One of his specialties is the smuggling of arms into foreign countries.

    Secret Armies

    John L. Spivak

  • There is no occasion for quarrelling with these specialties.

    The Book-Hunter

    John Hill Burton


British Dictionary definitions for specialties

specialty

noun plural -ties
  1. law a formal contract or obligation expressed in a deed
  2. US and Canadian a special interest or skill
    1. a service or product specialized in, as at a restaurantroast beef was a specialty of the house
    2. (as modifier)a specialty dish
  3. a special or distinguishing feature or characteristic
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another word for speciality
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 specialties

specialty

n.

early 14c., from Middle French especialte, variant of specialite, from Latin specialitatem (nominative specialitas) "peculiarity," from specialis (see special). Speciality is attested from early 15c.; French form spécialité (especially in reference to restaurant dishes) is recorded from 1839.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

specialties in Medicine

specialty

(spĕshəl-tē)
n.
  1. A branch of medicine or surgery in which a physician specializes; the field or practice of a specialist.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.