- a part or an individual taken as exemplifying a whole mass or number; a typical animal, plant, mineral, part, etc.
- (in medicine, microbiology, etc.) a sample of a substance or material for examination or study: a urine specimen; a tissue specimen.
- a particular or peculiar kind of person.
Origin of specimen
SynonymsSee more synonyms for specimen on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for specimen
That gave participants an opportunity to try taxidermy without skinning the specimen, which some people find hard to stomach.Edible Taxidermy: It’s a Good Thing
August 5, 2014
The lab report came back showing the specimen was some kind of rotten meat.
One day during his office hours, a female student asked him if he would agree to have a specimen studied in his laboratory.
Officials there quickly handed over the specimen to Dutch authorities who have assumed investigative responsibility in this case.Natalee Holloway: Is the Bone in Aruba Hers?
Barbie Latza Nadeau
November 19, 2010
Anne Boleyn, second wife to Henry the VIII, is a specimen of speculation, admiration, and everything in between.This Week's Hot Reads
The Daily Beast
December 29, 2009
I had no means of preserving a specimen, but I took a drawing of one.
But we have here a specimen of the inevitable consequence of sin.Female Scripture Biographies, Vol. I
Francis Augustus Cox
Here is a specimen of his graceful blending of irony and humor.The Works of Whittier, Volume VI (of VII)
John Greenleaf Whittier
He repaid Hopper with a specimen of his tongue, and flung the writ back at him.The Channings
Mrs. Henry Wood
What do you think of him, sir, for a specimen of the Dotheboys Hall feeding?The Life And Adventures Of Nicholas Nickleby
- an individual, object, or part regarded as typical of the group or class to which it belongs
- (as modifier)a specimen signature; a specimen page
- med a sample of tissue, blood, urine, etc, taken for diagnostic examination or evaluation
- the whole or a part of an organism, plant, rock, etc, collected and preserved as an example of its class, species, etc
- informal, often derogatory a person
Word Origin and History for specimen
1610s, "pattern, model," from Latin specimen "indication, mark, example, sign, evidence," from specere "to look at" (see scope (n.1)). Meaning "single thing regarded as typical of its kind" first recorded 1650s.
- A sample, as of tissue, blood, or urine, used for analysis and diagnosis.