How to pronounce


Are you having trouble pronouncing the English word "specific"? Don't worry, you're not alone!

The word "specific" can be broken down into sounds for pronunciation in both British and American English. Here are the IPA transcriptions for each:

  • American Pronunciation: /spəˈsɪfɪk/
    • Begins with the /sp/ sound, where the 's' is pronounced with air passing out through the teeth, followed by the 'p' sound made by both lips coming together briefly.
    • Followed by the /ə/ sound, a schwa, which is a quick, relaxed 'uh' sound, not emphasized.
    • The /ˈsɪf/ part has a short 'i' sound as in "bit," followed by the 'f' sound, produced by the lower lip touching the upper teeth.
    • Ends with the /ɪk/ sound, again with a short 'i' sound, followed by the 'k' sound made at the back of the mouth.
  • British Pronunciation: /spɪˈsɪfɪk/
    • The beginning /spɪ/ sound has a slightly more pronounced 'i' sound compared to the American schwa.
    • The /ˈsɪf/ and /ɪk/ parts are similar to the American pronunciation, focusing on the short 'i' sound and ending with the 'k'.

Definition of


Specific (adj): Clearly defined or identified; precise or particular.

What does it mean


The word "specific" comes from the Medieval Latin "specificus," meaning "constituting a species," from Latin "species" (a sight, appearance, kind, or character) + "facere" (to make). Originally in the late 14th century, it referred to remedies for particular diseases, derived from the notion of "species" as a particular kind or sort. By the 17th century, its usage expanded to mean "precise, explicit," reflecting its current sense of being clearly defined or identified. This evolution showcases the word's journey from a term used in medicinal contexts to a broader descriptor of precision and particularity.

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