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spec

[spek]
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noun
  1. Usually specs. specification(def 2).
  2. speculation.
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adjective
  1. built, done, bought, etc., as a speculation: the construction of spec houses.
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verb (used with object), spec'd or specked or specced, spec'·ing or speck·ing or spec·cing.
  1. to provide specifications for: Their newest truck was spec'd by a computer.
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Idioms
  1. on spec, made, built, or done with hopes of but no assurance of payment or a sale; without commitment by a client or buyer: ad illustrations done on spec; luxury homes built on spec and sold before completion.
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Origin of spec

An Americanism dating back to 1785–95; by shortening
Related formsspec·’er, speck·er, noun

speck

[spek]
noun
  1. a small spot differing in color or substance from that of the surface or material upon which it appears or lies: Specks of soot on the window sill.
  2. a very little bit or particle: We haven't a speck of sugar.
  3. something appearing small by comparison or by reason of distance: By then the town was just a speck.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to mark with, or as with, a speck or specks.
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Origin of speck

before 900; Middle English specke, Old English specca; cognate with Dutch spikkel
Related formsspeck·ed·ness [spek-id-nis] /ˈspɛk ɪd nɪs/, nounspeck·less, adjectivespeck·less·ly, adverbspeck·less·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

daub, smudge, speckle, mottle, moisten, dredge, smear, shower, spray, stud, dust, strew, dot, pepper, speculate, gamble, stipple, speck, spangle, dash

Examples from the Web for specking

Historical Examples

  • We have twenty-one of them up, specking the sky as clearly as a bacteriologist's slide is specked with microbes.

    Letters from France

    C. E. W. Bean


British Dictionary definitions for specking

spec

noun
  1. on spec as a speculation or gambleall the tickets were sold so I went to the theatre on spec
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adjective
  1. (prenominal) Australian and NZ speculativea spec developer
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Word Origin

C19: short for speculation or speculative

speck

noun
  1. a very small mark or spot
  2. a small or tiny piece of something
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verb
  1. (tr) to mark with specks or spots
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Word Origin

Old English specca; related to Middle Dutch spekelen to sprinkle
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 specking

speck

n.

Old English specca "small spot, stain," of unknown origin; probably related to Dutch speckel "speck, speckle," Middle Dutch spekelen "to sprinkle." Meaning "tiny bit" developed c.1400.

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spec

n.

short for specification, 1956. Related: Specs.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with specking

spec

see on spec.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.