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See more synonyms for specs on Thesaurus.com
plural noun Informal.
  1. spectacles; eyeglasses.
  2. specifications.
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Origin of specs

First recorded in 1800–10; by shortening


  1. Usually specs. specification(def 2).
  2. speculation.
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  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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  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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for specs

purchase, financing, transaction, finance, grant, money, loan, stake, property, expenditure, asset, venture, contribution, expense, blueprint, stipulation, spec, plunge, deal, undertaking

Examples from the Web for specs

Contemporary Examples of specs

Historical Examples of specs

  • And if one of you will just hand me my specs, I'll look over them with you and tell you all about them.

  • He come down the car to the young woman, 'nd looked at her over his specs.

  • Elsie "Specs" was one of the two; the other was known to the street simply as Mame.

  • The Doctor looked at him over his specs, with a broad grin on his countenance.

  • Then Aunt Tilly looked up and her specs were all blurry and wet.

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    Irvin S. Cobb

British Dictionary definitions for specs


pl n informal
  1. short for spectacles
  2. short for specificationsSee specification
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  1. on spec as a speculation or gambleall the tickets were sold so I went to the theatre on spec
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  1. (prenominal) Australian and NZ speculativea spec developer
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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with specs


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.