plural noun Informal.

spectacles; eyeglasses.

Nearby words

  1. spearman's rank-order coefficient,
  2. spearmint,
  3. spearpoint,
  4. spears,
  5. spearwort,
  6. spec sheet,
  7. spec.,
  8. speccy,
  9. special,
  10. special act

Origin of specs

First recorded in 1800–10; by shortening





built, done, bought, etc., as a speculation: the construction of spec houses.

verb (used with object), spec'd or specked or specced, spec'·ing or speck·ing or spec·cing.

to provide specifications for: Their newest truck was spec'd by a computer.

Origin of spec

An Americanism dating back to 1785–95; by shortening

Related formsspec·’er, speck·er, noun

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

Examples from the Web for specs

British Dictionary definitions for specs


pl n informal

short for spectacles
short for specificationsSee specification



on spec as a speculation or gambleall the tickets were sold so I went to the theatre on spec


(prenominal) Australian and NZ speculativea spec developer

Word Origin for spec

C19: short for speculation or speculative

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 specs



short for specification, 1956. Related: Specs.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with specs


see on spec.

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