on spec


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.

1785–95, Americanism; by shortening

spec’er, specker, noun
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
spec (spɛk)
1.  on spec as a speculation or gamble: all the tickets were sold so I went to the theatre on spec
2.  (Austral), (NZ) (prenominal) speculative: a spec developer
[C19: short for speculation or speculative]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Slang Dictionary

specs definition

  1. n.
    eyeglasses; spectacles. : I need specs to find where I left my specs.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
  1. speculation

  2. write specifications for

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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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

on spec

Done on a speculative basis; with no assurance of profit. For example, We didn't design our house; the builder built it on spec. The use of spec as an abbreviation for speculation dates from the late 1700s.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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