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[spek] /spɛk/
Usually, specs. specification (def 2).
built, done, bought, etc., as a speculation:
the construction of spec houses.
verb (used with object), spec'd or specked or specced, spec'ing or specking or speccing.
to provide specifications for:
Their newest truck was spec'd by a computer.
on spec, made, built, or done with hopes of but no assurance of payment or a sale; without commitment by a client or buyer:
ad illustrations done on spec; luxury homes built on spec and sold before completion.
Origin of spec
1785-95, Americanism; by shortening
Related forms
spec’er, specker, noun


[speks] /spɛks/
plural noun, Informal.
spectacles; eyeglasses.
1800-10; by shortening Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for spec
British Dictionary definitions for spec


on spec, as a speculation or gamble: all the tickets were sold so I went to the theatre on spec
(prenominal) (Austral & NZ) speculative: a spec developer
Word Origin
C19: short for speculation or speculative




plural noun (informal)
short for spectacles
short for specifications See specification
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
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Word Origin and History for spec

short for specification, 1956. Related: Specs.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for spec

spear carrier

noun phrase

An unimportant participant; supernumerary: What helped me most was having been a catcher and a ''spear carrier'' definitely not a star/ like last-minute walk-ons in the closing scene, spear-carriers in Valhalla

[1960+; fr the persons who appear on stage, esp in operas, as soldiers in the background]

spear chucker

noun phrase

A black person: When whites refer to blacks as spear chuckers, they're not thinking about the Olympics/ Where are the defenders of social stability when prime-time demagogues like Howard Stern deride African Americans as spear-chuckers? (late 1960s+)


Related Terms

the red-eye, saturday night special

Special K

noun phrase

: The pre-voting-age enthusiasts comeout of the stalls pie-eyed after a few lines of Special K, a snortable combination of horse tranquilizers, heroin, and coke

[1990s+ Narcotics; fr the trademark name of a brand of breakfast cereal]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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spec in Technology
benchmark, body
Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation.
A non-profit corporation registered in California formed to "establish, maintain and endorse a standardized set of relevant benchmarks that can be applied to the newest generation of high-performance computers" (from SPEC's bylaws). The founders believe that the user community will benefit greatly from an objective series of applications-oriented tests, which can serve as common reference points and be considered during the evaluation process.
SPEC develops suites of benchmarks intended to measure computer performance. These are available to the public for a fee covering development and administration costs.
The current (14 Nov 94) SPEC benchmark suites are: CINT92 (CPU intensive integer benchmarks); CFP92 (CPU intensive floating-point benchmarks); SDM (UNIX Software Development Workloads); SFS (System level file server (NFS) workload).
Results (
SPEC also publishes a quarterly report of SPEC news and results, The SPEC Newsletter. Some issues are here (
There is a FAQ about SPEC here (

A specification language. It expresses black box interface specifications for large distributed systems with real-time constraints. It incorporates conceptual models, inheritance and the event model. It is a descendant of MSG.84.
["An Introduction to the Specification Language Spec", V. Berzins et al, IEEE Software 7(2):74-84 (Mar 1990)].

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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Related Abbreviations for spec


  1. speculation
  2. write specifications for


  1. special
  2. specialist
  3. specific
  4. specifically
  5. specification
  6. speculation


  1. specifications
  2. spectacles (eyeglasses)
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Idioms and Phrases with spec


see: on spec
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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