Spec"i*men (?), n. [L., fr. specere to look, to behold. See Spy.]

A part, or small portion, of anything, or one of a number of things, intended to exhibit the kind and quality of the whole, or of what is not exhibited; a sample; as, a specimen of a man's handwriting; a specimen of painting; aspecimen of one's art.

Syn. -- Sample; model; pattern. -- Specimen, Sample. A specimen is a representative of the class of things to which it belongs; as, a specimen of photography. A sample is a part of the thing itself, designed to show the quality of the whole; as, a sample of sugar or of broadcloth. A cabinet of minerals consists of specimens; if a part be broken off from any one of these, it is a sample of the mineral to which it belongs. "Several persons have exhibited specimens of this art before multitudes of beholders." Addison. "I design this but for a sample of what I hope more fully to discuss." Woodward.


© Webster 1913.