verb (used with object), spec·i·fied, spec·i·fy·ing.

to mention or name specifically or definitely; state in detail: He did not specify the amount needed.
to give a specific character to.
to set forth as a specification.
to name or state as a condition: He specified that he be given my power of attorney.

verb (used without object), spec·i·fied, spec·i·fy·ing.

to make a specific mention or statement.

Origin of specify

1250–1300; Middle English specyfyen < Old French specifier < Medieval Latin specificāre. See specific, -fy
Related formsspec·i·fi·ca·tive [spes-uh-fi-key-tiv] /ˈspɛs ə fɪˌkeɪ tɪv/, adjectivespec·i·fi·ca·tive·ly, adverbspec·i·fi·er, nounmis·spec·i·fied, adjectivenon·spec·i·fied, adjectivepre·spec·i·fy, verb (used with object), pre·spec·i·fied, pre·spec·i·fy·ing.re·spec·i·fy, verb, re·spec·i·fied, re·spec·i·fy·ing.un·der·spec·i·fied, adjectiveun·der·spec·i·fy, verb (used with object), un·der·spec·i·fied, un·der·spec·i·fy·ing.un·spec·i·fied, adjectiveun·spec·i·fy·ing, adjective

Synonyms for specify

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

Examples from the Web for unspecified

Contemporary Examples of unspecified

Historical Examples of unspecified

  • Not "a dog" or "the dog" but "dog" unspecified and absolute.


    Elizabeth Bibesco

  • He also omits many headings in the bibliography of geology, India, and other unspecified large fields.

  • As a matter of fact many of our best drinking waters have all sorts of unspecified qualities.

    Soul of a Bishop

    H. G. Wells

  • They received £100 a year from unspecified holdings in Lancashire and had there a steward of courts at £1.

  • Before this, the great games so often vowed, were constantly rated at a certain expense: these first at an unspecified amount.

British Dictionary definitions for unspecified



not referred to or stated specifically


verb -fies, -fying or -fied (tr; may take a clause as object)

to refer to or state specifically
to state as a condition
to state or include in the specification of
Derived Formsspecificative (ˈspɛsɪfɪˌkeɪtɪv), adjectivespecifier, noun

Word Origin for specify

C13: from Medieval Latin specificāre to describe
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 unspecified



c.1300, from Old French specifier (13c.), from Late Latin specificare "mention particularly," from specifus (see specific). Related: Specified; specifying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper