One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounPlural specsin phrase on spec
In the hope of success but without any specific commission or instructions.‘he built the factory on spec and hoped someone would buy it’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Bedfont Lakes Hotel was developed on spec near London's Heathrow Airport but designed specifically for its unique site.’
- ‘The article was being written on spec with no guarantee of publication.’
- ‘By developing a product on spec for military use, device companies can pave the way toward later success in the private sector.’
Late 18th century: abbreviation of speculation.
- ‘I'll have to look at the specs on the equipment’short for specification (sense 2 of the noun)as modifier ‘our spec chart indicates a transmission speed of 9 seconds’
- ‘In December, the specs will be submitted to the ISO.’
- ‘I'd have to see your shuttle first, and depending on the specs, I might be able to help you.’
- ‘The original spec for the Pentium 4 sure as heck made it a Xeon class processor.’
- ‘Consumers seems to be less interested in low prices as more features and higher system specs.’
- ‘I think seeing specs and then the actual dimensions in the flesh are quite separate things.’
- ‘the technology is consistent across all three sets of specs.’
- ‘Time to talk technical specs says Nathan Rippin.’
- ‘The difference between original and amended specs seems negligible.’
- ‘Those servers were state-of-the-art for uptime specs.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Keep the costs down, agree a detailed spec with your designer up-front.’
- ‘The specs on the computer had to be top of the line’
verbspecs, speccing, specced[with object]
Give (something) a particular specification; construct to a specified standard.‘the range allows buyers to spec their truck to their needs’
- ‘When is the last time you spec'd a whitebox without even looking at vendor quotes?’
- ‘Its machines are usually specced better than the average for the price.’
- ‘Someone's already speccing the code and writing the business plan.’
- ‘Each machine is currently specced to 64MB of memory.’
1950s: abbreviation of specification.
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