Spe*cif"ic (?), a. [F. sp'ecifique, or NL. cpesificus; L. species a particular sort or kind + facere to make. Cf. Specify.]
Of or pertaining to a species; characterizing or constituting a species; possessing the peculiar property or properties of a thing which constitute its species, and distinguish it from other things; as, the specific form of an animal or a plant; the specific qualities of a drug; the specific distinction between virtue and vice.
Specific difference is that primary attribute which distinguishes each species from one another.
Specifying; definite, or making definite; limited; precise; discriminating; as, a specific statement.
Exerting a peculiar influence over any part of the body; preventing or curing disease by a peculiar adaption, and not on general principles; as, quinine is a specific medicine in cases of malaria.
In fact, all medicines will be found specific in the perfection of the science.
Specific character Nat. Hist., a characteristic or characteristics distinguishing one species from every other species of the same genus.
-- Specific disease Med. (a) A disease which produces a determinate definite effect upon the blood and tissues or upon some special tissue. (b) A disease which is itself uniformly produced by a definite and peculiar poison or organism.
-- Specific duty. Com. See under Duty.
-- Specific gravity. Physics See under Gravity.
-- Specific heat Physics, the quantity of heat required to raise temperature of a body one degree, taking as the unit of measure the quantity required to raise the same weight of water from zero to one degree; thus, the specific heat of mercury is 0.033, that of water being 1.000.
-- Specific inductive capacity Physics, the effect of a dielectric body in producing static electric induction as compared with that of some other body or bodies referred to as a standard.
-- Specific legacy Law, a bequest of a particular thing, as of a particular animal or piece of furniture, specified and distinguished from all others. Wharton. Burrill.
-- Specific name Nat., Hist., the name which, appended to the name of the genus, constitutes the distinctive name of the species; -- originally applied by Linnaeus to the essential character of the species, or the essential difference. The present specific name he at first called the trivial name.
-- Specific performance Law, the peformance of a contract or agreement as decreed by a court of equity.
© Webster 1913.
A specific remedy. See Specific, a., 3.
His parents were weak enough to believe that the royal touch was a specific for this malady.
Anything having peculiar adaption to the purpose to which it is applied.
Dr. H. More.
© Webster 1913.