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See more synonyms for specificity on Thesaurus.com
  1. the quality or state of being specific.
  2. Biochemistry, Pharmacology. the selective attachment or influence of one substance on another, as an antibiotic and its target organism or an antibody and its specific antigen.
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Origin of specificity

First recorded in 1875–80; specific + -ity
Related formsnon·spec·i·fic·i·ty, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for specificity

particularity, precision, distinction, selectivity, relevance, idiosyncrasy, exactitude, meticulousness

Examples from the Web for specificity

Contemporary Examples of specificity

Historical Examples of specificity

Word Origin and History for specificity


1876, from French spécificité or else a native formation from specific + -ity.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

specificity in Medicine


  1. The condition or state of being specific.
  2. The statistical probability that an individual who does not have the particular disease being tested for will be correctly identified as negative, expressed as the proportion of true negative results to the total of true negative and false positive results.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.