specific
specific spe*cif"ic (sp[-e]*s[i^]f"[i^]k), a. [F. sp['e]cifique, or NL. spesificus; L. species a particular sort or kind + facere to make. Cf. {specify}.] 1. Of or pertaining to a species; characterizing or constituting a species; possessing the peculiar property or properties of a thing which constitute its species, and distinguish it from other things; as, the specific form of an animal or a plant; the specific qualities of a drug; the specific distinction between virtue and vice. [1913 Webster]

Specific difference is that primary attribute which distinguishes each species from one another. --I. Watts. [1913 Webster]

2. Specifying; definite, or making definite; limited; precise; discriminating; as, a specific statement. [1913 Webster]

3. (Med.) Exerting a peculiar influence over any part of the body; preventing or curing disease by a peculiar adaptation, and not on general principles; as, quinine is a specific medicine in cases of malaria. [1913 Webster]

In fact, all medicines will be found specific in the perfection of the science. --Coleridge. [1913 Webster]

{Specific character} (Nat. Hist.), a characteristic or characteristics distinguishing one species from every other species of the same genus.

{Specific disease} (Med.) (a) A disease which produces a determinate definite effect upon the blood and tissues or upon some special tissue. (b) A disease which is itself uniformly produced by a definite and peculiar poison or organism.

{Specific duty}. (Com.) See under {Duty}.

{Specific gravity}. (Physics) See under {Gravity}.

{Specific heat} (Physics), the quantity of heat required to raise the temperature of a body one degree, taking as the unit of measure the quantity required to raise the same weight of water from zero to one degree; thus, the specific heat of mercury is 0.033, that of water being 1.000.

{Specific inductive capacity} (Physics), the effect of a dielectric body in producing static electric induction as compared with that of some other body or bodies referred to as a standard.

{Specific legacy} (Law), a bequest of a particular thing, as of a particular animal or piece of furniture, specified and distinguished from all others. --Wharton. --Burrill.

{Specific name} (Nat. Hist.), the name which, appended to the name of the genus, constitutes the distinctive name of the species; -- originally applied by Linn[ae]us to the essential character of the species, or the essential difference. The present specific name he at first called the {trivial name}.

{Specific performance} (Law), the peformance of a contract or agreement as decreed by a court of equity. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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  • specific — spe·cif·ic /spə si fik/ adj 1: relating to a particular thing 2: intended for or restricted to a particular end or object 3: being of a particularly identified kind or nature spe·cif·i·cal·ly / i klē, kə lē/ adv spec·i·fic·i·ty …   Law dictionary

  • Specific — can mean: * ParticularIn science, specific can denote that a measurement is expressed per unit mass (or weight): * Specific heat capacity * Specific energy * Specific impulseor is relative to a standard value: * Specific refractive index… …   Wikipedia

  • specific — [spə sif′ik] adj. [LL specificus < L species (see SPECIES) + ficus, FIC] 1. limiting or limited; specifying or specified; precise; definite; explicit [no specific plans] 2. of or constituting a species 3. peculiar to or characteristic of… …   English World dictionary

  • Specific — Spe*cif ic, n. 1. (Med.) A specific remedy. See {Specific}, a., 3. [1913 Webster] His parents were weak enough to believe that the royal touch was a specific for this malady. Macaulay. [1913 Webster] 2. Anything having peculiar adaption to the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • -specific — [spə sif′ik] combining form limited or specific to, characteristic of (a specified thing or person) [species specific] * * * …   Universalium

  • specific — UK US /spəˈsɪfɪk/ adjective ► relating to one particular thing and not others: »A specific provision in the agreement stated that research materials should not be used for commercial purposes. ► clear and exact: »He wouldn t give a specific… …   Financial and business terms

  • -specific — [spə sif′ik] combining form limited or specific to, characteristic of (a specified thing or person) [species specific] …   English World dictionary

  • specific — adj 1 *special, especial, particular, individual Antonyms: generic 2 definite, *explicit, express, categorical Analogous words: designating, naming (see DESIGNATE): *clear, lucid, perspicuous: precise, exact (see CORRECT …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • specific — ► ADJECTIVE 1) clearly defined or identified. 2) precise and clear. 3) (specific to) belonging or relating uniquely to. 4) relating to species or a species. ► NOUN (specifics) ▪ precise details …   English terms dictionary

  • specific — (adj.) 1630s, having a special quality, from Fr. spécifique, from L.L. specificus constituting a species, from L. species kind, sort (see SPECIES (Cf. species)). Earlier form was specifical (early 15c.). Meaning definite, precise first recorded… …   Etymology dictionary

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