Definition of specimen in English:

specimen

noun

  • 1An individual animal, plant, piece of a mineral, etc. used as an example of its species or type for scientific study or display:

    ‘specimens of copper ore’
    • ‘Their work has brought them into contact with some macabre, yet scientifically fascinating, specimens.’
    • ‘From April onwards, we potter about outside, spotting gaps where we might plant another beautiful specimen,’
    • ‘The glazed shelves lining the walls were designed to house Alexander's mineralogical specimens and books devoted to the subject.’
    • ‘The expected value of analysing a single plant specimen, is the expected revenue less the costs.’
    • ‘He ventures above ground into wintertime Philadelphia to collect animal specimens.’
    • ‘Its displays cover millions of specimens, including fossils, meteorites, mammals, plants, minerals, and insects.’
    • ‘Studying specimens in the field may be limited due to time, budget, and weather constraints and making review difficult.’
    • ‘Scientists use these reference specimens to help identify and characterize agriculturally important fungi.’
    • ‘Borack shows the specific cases holding mammals, birds, paleontological specimens, fish and reptiles.’
    • ‘Another corner of the display showed zoological specimens, minerals and ores, and surgical instruments.’
    • ‘The animal remains seem to represent only dissection material and were not used as specimens for display.’
    • ‘Ray then spent thirteen years travelling around Britain and Europe collecting specimens and studying animals.’
    1. 1.1 An example of something regarded as typical of its class or group:
      [as modifier] ‘a specimen paper of the new test’
      • ‘The question in the specimen paper required the students to discuss the social criticism in The Big Sleep and other texts.’
      • ‘Fill out a specimen ballot paper in your constituency.’
    2. 1.2 A sample for medical testing, especially of urine.
      • ‘Sperm banks arose to store indefinitely thousands of specimens in a single location.’
      • ‘They will report on the foods they eat and give biological specimens for testing.’
      • ‘Are there any medical reasons why a specimen of blood cannot or should not be taken by a doctor?’
      • ‘A few test specimens might well be arriving at the lab in the next few weeks.’
      • ‘I require you to provide a specimen of breath for a breath test.’
      • ‘Urine specimens had been obtained and tested by the nursing staff.’
      • ‘The volunteers gave blood and urine specimens at each lab visit.’
      • ‘He took a blood specimen from the appellant and the specimen was divided into two samples.’
      • ‘Specimens of blood or urine are the alternatives…’
      • ‘The police officers required the respondent to provide a specimen of breath for a roadside breath test.’
      • ‘Miss Rossiter provided a specimen of urine to the surgery for analysis.’
      sample, example, bit, snippet, illustration, demonstration, exemplification, instance, selection, representative piece
      model, prototype, pattern, dummy, swatch, test piece, pilot, trailer, trial, indication, foretaste, taste, taster, tester, smear
      scantling
      View synonyms
  • 2informal Used to refer humorously to a person or animal:

    ‘Carla could not help feeling a degree of reluctant admiration for this odd female specimen’
    • ‘My best guy friend was definitely not what you would call the ideal male specimen.’
    • ‘He was like the perfect specimen of man… but he wasn't perfect for me.’
    • ‘She was born a perfect female specimen.’
    • ‘The blurry embodiment of a male specimen was making his way towards Audrae now.’
    • ‘It took me a second to home in on that perfect specimen of manly-buffness.’
    • ‘They had to be perfect physical specimens able to handle enormous amounts of stress.’
    • ‘I just think it's weird that after going out with the finest specimen that the female race has to offer you can settle for less.’
    • ‘With Bianca's perfect figure, every single male specimen was bewitched by her.’
    • ‘Too bad he is a member of the Underground Society, but he is still a perfect male specimen!’
    • ‘Out of the doorway came the most perfect specimen of male youth I had ever seen out.’
    • ‘I remember thinking he was the most perfect specimen I've ever seen.’
    • ‘Why I chose to surround myself with perfect specimens I do not know.’
    • ‘She was the most perfect female specimen in the whole damn world.’
    • ‘Here's another female specimen who's in love with him.’
    • ‘You embody the perfect friend, the perfect companion, the perfect physical specimen.’
    • ‘He's a perfect American specimen.’
    • ‘She was the perfect specimen: thin arms, long legs, pouty lips.’
    • ‘Critics were perplexed by this seemingly perfect specimen, and swiftly termed her bland and banal.’
    • ‘I've known most of the world's most perfect physical specimens over the course of the last 30 years.’
    • ‘I was never a perfect specimen of boyhood and always got chosen last or next to last.’

Origin

Early 17th century (in the sense ‘pattern, model’): from Latin, from specere to look.

Pronunciation:

specimen

/ˈspɛsɪmɪn/