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.
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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
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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
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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.
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Example sentences
Large specimens can be expensive and tend to be snapped up by professional
He's studied them, collected specimens that are displayed all over his
  property, and now written a remarkable book about them.
Hatch has spent hours driving through the countryside, trolling for missing
  specimens sprouting along the road.
First is protein profiling, taking tissue specimens and trying to identify and
  characterize all the proteins.
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