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SPECIFIC

Pronunciation (US): 

 Dictionary entry overview: What does specific mean? 

SPECIFIC (noun)
  The noun SPECIFIC has 2 senses:

1. a fact about some part (as opposed to general)
2. a medicine that has a mitigating effect on a specific disease

  Familiarity information: SPECIFIC used as a noun is rare.


SPECIFIC (adjective)
  The adjective SPECIFIC has 4 senses:

1. (sometimes followed by 'to') applying to or characterized by or distinguishing something particular or special or unique
2. stated explicitly or in detail
3. relating to or distinguishing or constituting a taxonomic species
4. being or affecting a disease produced by a particular microorganism or condition; used also of stains or dyes used in making microscope slides

  Familiarity information: SPECIFIC used as an adjective is uncommon.


 Dictionary entry details 


SPECIFIC (noun)


Sense 1specific [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

A fact about some part (as opposed to general)

Classified under:

Nouns denoting cognitive processes and contents

Synonyms:

particular; specific

Context example:

he always reasons from the particular to the general

Hypernyms ("specific" is a kind of...):

fact (a piece of information about circumstances that exist or events that have occurred)

Antonym:

general (a fact about the whole (as opposed to particular))


Sense 2specific [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

A medicine that has a mitigating effect on a specific disease

Classified under:

Nouns denoting man-made objects

Context example:

quinine is a specific for malaria

Hypernyms ("specific" is a kind of...):

medicament; medication; medicinal drug; medicine ((medicine) something that treats or prevents or alleviates the symptoms of disease)


SPECIFIC (adjective)


Sense 1specific [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

(sometimes followed by 'to') applying to or characterized by or distinguishing something particular or special or unique

Context examples:

rules with specific application / demands specific to the job / a specific and detailed account of the accident

Similar:

unique ((followed by 'to') applying exclusively to a given category or condition or locality)

proper (limited to the thing specified)

particularised; particularized (directed toward a specific object)

particular (separate and distinct from others of the same group or category)

particular; peculiar; special (unique or specific to a person or thing or category)

limited; special (having a specific function or scope)

circumstantial (fully detailed and specific about particulars)

ad hoc (for or concerned with one specific purpose)

Also:

precise (sharply exact or accurate or delimited)

specialised; specialized (developed or designed for a special activity or function)

Attribute:

generality (the quality of being general or widespread or having general applicability)

Antonym:

general (applying to all or most members of a category or group)

nonspecific (not caused by a specific agent; used also of staining in making microscope slides)


Sense 2specific [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Stated explicitly or in detail

Context example:

needed a specific amount

Similar:

specified (clearly and explicitly stated)


Sense 3specific [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Relating to or distinguishing or constituting a taxonomic species

Classified under:

Relational adjectives (pertainyms)

Context example:

specific characters

Pertainym:

species ((biology) taxonomic group whose members can interbreed)


Sense 4specific [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Being or affecting a disease produced by a particular microorganism or condition; used also of stains or dyes used in making microscope slides

Context examples:

quinine is highly specific for malaria / a specific remedy / a specific stain is one having a specific affinity for particular structural elements

Domain category:

medical specialty; medicine (the branches of medical science that deal with nonsurgical techniques)

pathology (the branch of medical science that studies the causes and nature and effects of diseases)

Antonym:

nonspecific (not caused by a specific agent; used also of staining in making microscope slides)


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