• Specific


    • UK IPA: /spəˈsɪf.ɪk/, /spɪˈsɪf.ɪk/
    • Rhymes: -ɪfɪk

    Alternative forms


    From Old French specifique, from Late Latin specificus ("specific, particular"), from Latin speciēs ("kind") + faciō ("make").

    Full definition of specific



    1. explicit or definite
    2. (sciences) Pertaining to a species.
      • 2008, Richard Dawkins, The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing, Oxford 2009, p. 3:Science and literature, then, are the two achievements of Homo sapiens that most convincingly justify the specific name.
    3. (taxonomy) pertaining to a taxon at the rank of species
    4. special, distinctive or unique
    5. intended for, or applying to a particular thing
    6. being a remedy for a particular diseaseQuinine is a specific medicine in cases of malaria.
      • ColeridgeIn fact, all medicines will be found specific in the perfection of the science.
    7. (immunology) limited to a particular antibody or antigen
    8. (physics) of a value divided by mass (e.g. specific orbital energy)
    9. (physics) similarly referring to a value divided by any measure which acts to standardize it (e.g. thrust specific fuel consumption, referring to fuel consumption divided by thrust)
    10. (physics) a measure compared with a standard reference value by division, to produce a ratio without unit or dimension (e.g. specific refractive index is a pure number, and is relative to that of air)



    (plural specifics)
    1. A distinguishing attribute or quality.
    2. Something particularly adapted for a particular use, as a remedy for a particular disorder
    3. Specification
    4. (in the plural) The details; particulars.

    Derived terms

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