Definition of specification in US English:



  • 1An act of describing or identifying something precisely or of stating a precise requirement.

    ‘give a full specification of the job advertised’
    ‘there was no clear specification of objectives’
    • ‘There is no formal requirement for them to agree with the other Community institutions on the specification of price stability.’
    • ‘It sought coherence through the specification of clear objectives.’
    • ‘The Charter was the first attempt to give the public a clear specification of what it could expect.’
    • ‘The contest had some very precise specifications.’
    • ‘This is not a clear specification of the problem.’
    statement, stating, naming, identification, definition, defining, describing, description, setting out, setting down, framing, itemizing, designation, designating, detailing, listing, spelling out, enumeration, enumerating, particularizing, cataloguing, citing, instancing
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    1. 1.1usually specifications A detailed description of the design and materials used to make something.
      • ‘We can search and find detailed specifications.’
      • ‘Both specifications are designed to transfer data between and among devices.’
      • ‘Ask your dealer to give you detailed material specifications on the products they are proposing.’
      • ‘There are no technical details or specifications mentioned anywhere on the memory modules.’
      • ‘All material specifications and structural calculations had to follow strict German codes.’
      • ‘The resulting complete design specification is used to create a second fixed price bid for writing your software.’
      • ‘Purchasers can design their own homes, but these must comply with certain specification and design guidelines.’
      • ‘This is the detailed specifications of the satellite.’
      • ‘The original design specifications for a software product are inadequate.’
      • ‘He has spent years designing the specifications.’
      • ‘Design specifications are difficult to write.’
      • ‘This washer had never been part of any product design or specifications.’
      • ‘The company provided no details of pricing or specifications for the new machines.’
      • ‘The screws are designed to our specifications.’
      • ‘There is no published specification.’
      • ‘The mattresses in every passenger cabin are designed and manufactured to the company's specifications.’
      • ‘Engineering design specifications more closely reflect the product's potential in the marketplace.’
      • ‘Many specifications and designs aren't thought out well enough.’
      • ‘A plan, which includes material costs, specifications and design entails, will be prepared.’
      • ‘She shuffles between appointments and fittings with designers and vendors to determine fabrics and detail garment specifications for new designs.’
      instructions, stipulations, requirements, conditions, provisions, restrictions, provisos, guidelines, parameters, order
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    2. 1.2 A standard of workmanship, materials, etc., required to be met in a piece of work.
      ‘everything was built to a higher specification’
      • ‘All Canadian cheques should conform with the new specifications.’
      • ‘Have a design idea ready with exact specifications about the piece that you want.’
      • ‘The chips will not meet the required performance specifications.’
      • ‘If the energy level does not meet specifications, then the person cannot compete.’
      • ‘If the carpenter cannot meet his specifications, then he will not hesitate to dismantle the whole thing, and begin all over again by hunting for the perfect craftsman.’
      • ‘Check the product label to make sure the material meets specifications of the federal government.’
      • ‘None of these systems were able to meet the scale and specifications required by federal policy.’
      • ‘Are power specifications required by your electronic systems being met?’
      • ‘U.S. exporters should contact their Taiwan importers directly to ensure that product specifications and labeling meet Taiwan's regulations.’
      • ‘Vendors often talk of putting specifications and standards in their middleware products.’
      • ‘It depends on whether the refurbished program meets your specifications.’
      • ‘This model didn't meet specifications.’
      • ‘UK Government will only use products that support open standards and specifications in all future IT developments.’
      • ‘I had spent the last week creating a resume that met my Dad's specifications.’
      • ‘Motherboard manufacturers need to meet AMD mechanical specifications, and most do, save a few.’
      • ‘Shipping crates need to meet specifications to pass the muster.’
      • ‘Individual components may be built within standard industry specifications, that does not guarantee that those products will work together.’
      • ‘Hardware makers promised to provide systems that meet The company's specifications.’
      • ‘People were outraged when old buildings were bulldozed and 19 th-century streets were reconfigured to meet modern specifications.’
      • ‘Many companies have not standardised their product specifications across the eurozone.’
      standard, point of reference, basis, gauge, criterion, canon, convention, guide, guideline, guiding principle, norm, touchstone, yardstick, test, litmus test, barometer, indicator, measure, model, exemplar, classic example, pattern, paradigm, archetype, prototype, ideal
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    3. 1.3 A description of an invention accompanying an application for a patent.
      • ‘I was addressed by both parties on the principles of law to be adopted in construing patent specifications.’
      • ‘Although the specification describes an invention of a working combination, it is not the invention claimed.’
      • ‘The inventions disclosed in difference specifications can be different in kind.’
      • ‘The specification of a patent must enable the invention to be performed across the full width of the claim.’
      • ‘They could have gone and accessed that patent specification.’


Late 16th century: from medieval Latin specificatio(n-), from late Latin specificare (see specify).