specialty

[spesh-uhl-tee]

noun, plural spe·cial·ties.

adjective

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.

Nearby words

  1. speciality,
  2. specialization,
  3. specialize,
  4. specialized,
  5. specially,
  6. speciate,
  7. speciation,
  8. specie,
  9. specie point,
  10. species

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)

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for specialty


British Dictionary definitions for specialty

specialty

noun plural -ties

law a formal contract or obligation expressed in a deed
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
a special or distinguishing feature or characteristic
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 specialty

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for specialty

specialty

[spĕshəl-tē]

n.

A branch of medicine or surgery in which a physician specializes; the field or practice of a specialist.

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