a part or an individual taken as exemplifying a whole mass or number; a typical animal, plant, mineral, part, etc.
(in medicine, microbiology, etc.) a sample of a substance or material for examination or study: a urine specimen; a tissue specimen.
a particular or peculiar kind of person.

1600–10; < Latin: mark, example, indication, sign, equivalent to speci-, stem of specere to look, regard + -men noun suffix denoting result or means

1. type, model, pattern. See example.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To specimen
World English Dictionary
specimen (ˈspɛsɪmɪn)
1.  a.  an individual, object, or part regarded as typical of the group or class to which it belongs
 b.  (as modifier): a specimen signature; a specimen page
2.  med a sample of tissue, blood, urine, etc, taken for diagnostic examination or evaluation
3.  the whole or a part of an organism, plant, rock, etc, collected and preserved as an example of its class, species, etc
4.  informal, derogatory often a person
[C17: from Latin: mark, evidence, proof, from specere to look at]

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

1619, "pattern, model," from L. specimen "indication, mark, example, sign, evidence," from specere "to look at" (see scope (1)). Meaning "single thing regarded as typical of its kind" first recorded 1654.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

specimen spec·i·men (spěs'ə-mən)
A sample, as of tissue, blood, or urine, used for analysis and diagnosis.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
For information on how to obtain the sample, see clean catch urine specimen.
For information on collecting a urine sample, see clean catch urine specimen.
In this lesson, students practice observing and recording the details of a
The new system means that museum staff can set up the microscope on request to
  let taxonomists look at the specimen over the web.
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature