Specific vs Specialize - What's the difference?

specific | specialize |

As an adjective specific

is explicit or definite.

As a noun specific

is a distinguishing attribute or quality.

As a verb specialize is

to mention specially; to particularize.

Other Comparisons: What's the difference?



Alternative forms

* specifick (obsolete)


(en adjective)
  • explicit or definite
  • (sciences) Pertaining to a species.
  • *2008 , (Richard Dawkins), The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing , Oxford 2009, p. 3:
  • *:Science and literature, then, are the two achievements of Homo sapiens that most convincingly justify the specific name.
  • (taxonomy) pertaining to a taxon at the rank of species
  • special, distinctive or unique
  • intended for, or applying to a particular thing
  • being a remedy for a particular disease
  • Quinine is a specific medicine in cases of malaria.
  • * Coleridge
  • In fact, all medicines will be found specific in the perfection of the science.
  • (immunology) limited to a particular antibody or antigen
  • (physics) of a value divided by mass (e.g. specific orbital energy)
  • (physics) similarly referring to a value divided by any measure which acts to standardize it (e.g. thrust specific fuel consumption, referring to fuel consumption divided by thrust)
  • (physics) a measure compared with a standard reference value by division, to produce a ratio without unit or dimension (e.g. specific refractive index is a pure number, and is relative to that of air)
  • Antonyms

    * all-purpose * broad * general * general-purpose * generic * gross * nonspecific * overall * pandemic * universal * unspecific * widespread

    Derived terms

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    See also

    * generic


    (en noun)
  • A distinguishing attribute or quality.
  • Something particularly adapted for a particular use, as a remedy for a particular disorder
  • Specification
  • (in the plural) The details; particulars.
  • Derived terms




    Alternative forms

    * specialise (non-Oxford British spelling)


  • To mention specially; to particularize.
  • To apply to some specialty or limited object; to assign to a specific use; as, specialized knowledge.
  • (biology) To supply with an organ or organs having a special function or functions.
  • Antonyms

    * generalize

    Derived terms

    * specialty, speciality * specialist * subspecialize * subspecialty, subspeciality * subspecialist * specialisation, specialization