"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[spes-uh-fahy] /ˈspɛs əˌfaɪ/
verb (used with object), specified, specifying.
to mention or name specifically or definitely; state in detail:
He did not specify the amount needed.
to give a specific character to.
to set forth as a specification.
to name or state as a condition:
He specified that he be given my power of attorney.
verb (used without object), specified, specifying.
to make a specific mention or statement.
Origin of specify
1250-1300; Middle English specyfyen < Old French specifier < Medieval Latin specificāre. See specific, -fy
Related forms
[spes-uh-fi-key-tiv] /ˈspɛs ə fɪˌkeɪ tɪv/ (Show IPA),
specificatively, adverb
specifier, noun
misspecified, adjective
nonspecified, adjective
prespecify, verb (used with object), prespecified, prespecifying.
respecify, verb, respecified, respecifying.
underspecified, adjective
underspecify, verb (used with object), underspecified, underspecifying.
unspecified, adjective
unspecifying, adjective
1. detail, indicate, enumerate, stipulate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for specify
  • The family declined to specify the condition for which he was being treated.
  • To explain: importers who buy dollars through official channels must specify what they plan to import.
  • Woods will not specify which snake venoms his team is studying, because the compounds have not yet been patented.
  • She would verbally and in handwritten notes specify when she wanted specific situations captured.
  • Developed countries would also specify an amount by which they mean to reduce their emissions.
  • However, the letter does not specify if scientists will be allowed to maintain cell cultures.
  • The budget plan does not specify how the cuts would be achieved.
  • Instead of fixing permitted prices, the new caps will specify profit margins.
  • If you wish to specify your search for maps type in the correct keyword or adjust the settings for the date range.
  • However, he refused to name the school or to specify the recruiting rule that had been violated.
British Dictionary definitions for specify


verb (transitive; may take a clause as object) -fies, -fying, -fied
to refer to or state specifically
to state as a condition
to state or include in the specification of
Derived Forms
specificative (ˈspɛsɪfɪˌkeɪtɪv) adjective
specifier, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Medieval Latin specificāre to describe
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 specify

c.1300, from Old French specifier (13c.), from Late Latin specificare "mention particularly," from specifus (see specific). Related: Specified; specifying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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