verb (used with object), spec·i·fied, spec·i·fy·ing.

to mention or name specifically or definitely; state in detail: He did not specify the amount needed.
to give a specific character to.
to set forth as a specification.
to name or state as a condition: He specified that he be given my power of attorney.

verb (used without object), spec·i·fied, spec·i·fy·ing.

to make a specific mention or statement.

Origin of specify

1250–1300; Middle English specyfyen < Old French specifier < Medieval Latin specificāre. See specific, -fy
Related formsspec·i·fi·ca·tive [spes-uh-fi-key-tiv] /ˈspɛs ə fɪˌkeɪ tɪv/, adjectivespec·i·fi·ca·tive·ly, adverbspec·i·fi·er, nounmis·spec·i·fied, adjectivenon·spec·i·fied, adjectivepre·spec·i·fy, verb (used with object), pre·spec·i·fied, pre·spec·i·fy·ing.re·spec·i·fy, verb, re·spec·i·fied, re·spec·i·fy·ing.un·der·spec·i·fied, adjectiveun·der·spec·i·fy, verb (used with object), un·der·spec·i·fied, un·der·spec·i·fy·ing.un·spec·i·fied, adjectiveun·spec·i·fy·ing, adjective

Synonyms for specify

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

Related Words for specified

stated, detailed, named, described

Examples from the Web for specified

Contemporary Examples of specified

Historical Examples of specified

  • Have you Common Fame, with her specified charges and witnesses?

    Slavery Ordained of God

    Rev. Fred A. Ross, D.D.

  • The operations of each day are specified further on in the Poem.

    Y Gododin


  • He came the following afternoon, at the time he had specified.

    The First Violin

    Jessie Fothergill

  • To what precise extent the praise was to go was not specified.

    Sir Jasper Carew

    Charles James Lever

  • We then specified places at which garbage, etc., should be dumped.

British Dictionary definitions for specified


verb -fies, -fying or -fied (tr; may take a clause as object)

to refer to or state specifically
to state as a condition
to state or include in the specification of
Derived Formsspecificative (ˈspɛsɪfɪˌkeɪtɪv), adjectivespecifier, noun

Word Origin for specify

C13: from Medieval Latin specificāre to describe
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 specified



c.1300, from Old French specifier (13c.), from Late Latin specificare "mention particularly," from specifus (see specific). Related: Specified; specifying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper