One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounin phrase on spec
In the hope of success but without any specific plan or instructions.‘he built the factory on spec and hoped someone would buy it’
- ‘Bedfont Lakes Hotel was developed on spec near London's Heathrow Airport but designed specifically for its unique site.’
- ‘I wrote my first book on spec, sent it off to nearly 100 publishers and in six weeks I had my first offer.’
- ‘Byrnes designed this 5,400-square-foot house on spec using his family as theoretical homeowners.’
- ‘By developing a product on spec for military use, device companies can pave the way toward later success in the private sector.’
- ‘The article was being written on spec with no guarantee of publication.’
Late 18th century: abbreviation of speculation.
- ‘a camera with a very basic spec’short for specification (sense 2 of the noun)
- ‘the technology is consistent across all three sets of specs.’
- ‘In December, the specs will be submitted to the ISO.’
- ‘Consumers seems to be less interested in low prices as more features and higher system specs.’
- ‘Keep the costs down, agree a detailed spec with your designer up-front.’
- ‘Although it's possible to get a house built from basic drawings, a set of detailed specs is an insurance policy against confusion and even contractor fraud.’
- ‘The original spec for the Pentium 4 sure as heck made it a Xeon class processor.’
- ‘I'd have to see your shuttle first, and depending on the specs, I might be able to help you.’
- ‘I think seeing specs and then the actual dimensions in the flesh are quite separate things.’
- ‘Those servers were state-of-the-art for uptime specs.’
- ‘The difference between original and amended specs seems negligible.’
- ‘Time to talk technical specs says Nathan Rippin.’
- ‘The specs on the computer had to be top of the line’
Give (something) a particular specification; construct to a specified standard.‘the range allows buyers to spec their truck to their needs’
- ‘Its machines are usually specced better than the average for the price.’
- ‘Each machine is currently specced to 64MB of memory.’
- ‘When is the last time you spec'd a whitebox without even looking at vendor quotes?’
- ‘Someone's already speccing the code and writing the business plan.’
1950s: abbreviation of specification.
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