[ spi-sif-ik ]
/ spɪˈsɪf ɪk /



something specific, as a statement, quality, detail, etc.
Medicine/Medical. a specific remedy: There is no specific for the common cold.

Nearby words

  1. species-specific,
  2. species-specific antigen,
  3. speciesism,
  4. specif.,
  5. specifiable,
  6. specific action,
  7. specific activity,
  8. specific charge,
  9. specific conductance,
  10. specific dynamic action

Origin of specific

1625–35; < Medieval Latin specificus, equivalent to Latin speci(ēs) species + -ficus -fic

Related forms

Synonym study

1. See special.

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

Examples from the Web for specifics

British Dictionary definitions for specifics


/ (spɪˈsɪfɪk) /



(sometimes plural) a designated quality, thing, etc
med any drug used to treat a particular disease
Derived Formsspecifically, adverbspecificity (ˌspɛsɪˈfɪsɪtɪ), noun

Word Origin for specific

C17: from Medieval Latin specificus, from Latin species

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 specifics



1630s, "having a special quality," from French spécifique, from Late Latin specificus "constituting a species," from Latin species "kind, sort" (see species). Earlier form was specifical (early 15c.). Meaning "definite, precise" first recorded 1740.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for specifics


[ spĭ-sĭfĭk ]


Relating to, characterizing, or distinguishing a species.
Intended for, applying to, or acting on a specified thing.
Designating a disease produced by a particular microorganism or condition.
Having a remedial influence or effect on a particular disease.
In immunology, having an affinity limited to a particular antibody or antigen.


A remedy intended for a particular ailment or disorder.
Related formsspe•cifi•cal•ly adv.

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