specific (adj.)

1630s, "having a special quality," from French spécifique and directly from Late Latin specificus "constituting a kind or sort" (in Medieval Latin "specific, particular"), from Latin species "kind, sort" (see species) +  -ficus "making, doing," from combining form of facere "to make." Earlier form was specifical (early 15c.). Meaning "definite, precise" first recorded 1740. Related: Specifically; specificness.

specific (n.)

"a specific quality or detail," 1690s, from specific (adj.).

updated on September 22, 2018