- having a special application, bearing, or reference; specifying, explicit, or definite: to state one's specific purpose.
- specified, precise, or particular: a specific sum of money.
- peculiar or proper to somebody or something, as qualities, characteristics, effects, etc.: His specific problems got him into trouble.
- of a special or particular kind.
- concerned specifically with the item or subject named (used in combination): The Secretary addressed himself to crop-specific problems.
- Biology. of or relating to a species: specific characters.
- (of a disease) produced by a special cause or infection.
- (of a remedy) having special effect in the prevention or cure of a certain disease.
- Immunology. (of an antibody or antigen) having a particular effect on only one antibody or antigen or affecting it in only one way.
- Commerce. noting customs or duties levied in fixed amounts per unit, as number, weight, or volume.
- designating a physical constant that, for a particular substance, is expressed as the ratio of the quantity in the substance to the quantity in an equal volume of a standard substance, as water or air.
- designating a physical constant that expresses a property or effect as a quantity per unit length, area, volume, or mass.
- something specific, as a statement, quality, detail, etc.
- Medicine/Medical. a specific remedy: There is no specific for the common cold.
Origin of specific
1. See special.
Antonyms for specific
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- explicit, particular, or definiteplease be more specific
- relating to a specified or particular thinga specific treatment for arthritis
- of or relating to a biological speciesspecific differences
- (of a disease) caused by a particular pathogenic agent
- characteristic of a property of a particular substance, esp in relation to the same property of a standard reference substancespecific gravity
- characteristic of a property of a particular substance per unit mass, length, area, volume, etcspecific heat
- (of an extensive physical quantity) divided by massspecific heat capacity; specific volume
- Also (rare): specifical commerce denoting a tariff levied at a fixed sum per unit of weight, quantity, volume, etc, irrespective of value
- (sometimes plural) a designated quality, thing, etc
- med any drug used to treat a particular disease
Word Origin for specific
C17: from Medieval Latin specificus, from Latin species
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
1630s, "having a special quality," from French spécifique, from Late Latin specificus "constituting a species," from Latin species "kind, sort" (see species). Earlier form was specifical (early 15c.). Meaning "definite, precise" first recorded 1740.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- Relating to, characterizing, or distinguishing a species.
- Intended for, applying to, or acting on a specified thing.
- Designating a disease produced by a particular microorganism or condition.
- Having a remedial influence or effect on a particular disease.
- In immunology, having an affinity limited to a particular antibody or antigen.
- A remedy intended for a particular ailment or disorder.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.