Webster's Dictionary, 1913

Search Webster
Word starts with Word or meaning contains
Spearhead noun The pointed head, or end, of a spear.

Spearman noun ; plural Spearmen One who is armed with a spear. Acts xxiii. 23.

Spearmint noun [ So named from its spiry , not capitate, inflorescence. Dr. Prior. ] (Botany) A species of mint ( Mentha viridis ) growing in moist soil. It vields an aromatic oil. See Mint , and Mentha .

Spearwood noun (Botany) An Australian tree ( Acacia Doratoxylon ), and its tough wood, used by the natives for spears.

Spearwort noun [ Anglo-Saxon sperewyrt .] (Botany) A name given to several species of crowfoot ( Ranunculus ) which have spear-shaped leaves.

Speary adjective Having the form of a spear.

Spece noun Species; kind. [ Obsolete] Chaucer.

Specht noun [ See Speight .] (Zoology) A woodpecker. [ Obsolete or prov. Eng.] Sherwood.

Special adjective [ Latin specialis , from species a particular sort, kind, or quality: confer French spécial . See Species , and confer Especial .]
1. Of or pertaining to a species; constituting a species or sort.

A special is called by the schools a "species".
I. Watts.

2. Particular; peculiar; different from others; extraordinary; uncommon.

Our Savior is represented everywhere in Scripture as the special patron of the poor and the afficted.

To this special evil an improvement of style would apply a special redress.
De Quincey.

3. Appropriate; designed for a particular purpose, occasion, or person; as, a special act of Parliament or of Congress; a special sermon.

4. Limited in range; confined to a definite field of action, investigation, or discussion; as, a special dictionary of commercial terms; a special branch of study.

5. Chief in excellence. [ Obsolete]

The king hath drawn
The special head of all the land together.

Special administration (Law) , an administration limited to certain specified effects or acts, or one granted during a particular time or the existence of a special cause, as during a controversy respecting the probate of a will, or the right of administration, etc. -- Special agency , an agency confined to some particular matter. -- Special bail , Bail above , or Bail to the action (Law) , sureties who undertake that, if the defendant is convicted, he shall satisfy the plaintiff, or surrender himself into custody. Tomlins. Wharton (Law Dict.). -- Special constable . See under Constable . Bouvier. -- Special damage (Law) , a damage resulting from the act complained of, as a natural, but not the necessary, consequence of it. -- Special demurrer (Law) , a demurrer for some defect of form in the opposite party pleading, in which the cause of demurrer is particularly stated. -- Special deposit , a deposit made of a specific thing to be kept distinct from others. -- Special homology . (Biol.) See under Homology . -- Special injuction (Law) , an injuction granted on special grounds, arising of the circumstances of the case. Daniell. -- Special issue (Law) , an issue produced upon a special plea. Stephen. -- Special jury (Law) , a jury consisting of persons of some particular calling, station, or qualification, which is called upon motion of either party when the cause is supposed to require it; a struck jury. -- Special orders (Mil.) , orders which do not concern, and are not published to, the whole command, such as those relating to the movement of a particular corps, a detail, a temporary camp, etc. -- Special partner , a limited partner; a partner with a limited or restricted responsibility; -- unknown at common law. -- Special partnership , a limited or particular partnership; -- a term sometimes applied to a partnership in a particular business, operation, or adventure. -- Special plea in bar (Law) , a plea setting forth particular and new matter, distinguished from the general issue. Bouvier. -- Special pleader (Law) , originally, a counsel who devoted himself to drawing special counts and pleas; in a wider sense, a lawyer who draws pleadings. -- Special pleading (Law) , the allegation of special or new matter, as distingiushed from a direct denial of matter previously alleged on the side. Bouvier. The popular denomination of the whole science of pleading. Stephen. The phrase is sometimes popularly applied to the specious, but unsound, argumentation of one whose aim is victory, and not truth. Burrill. -- Special property (Law) , a qualified or limited ownership possession, as in wild animals, things found or bailed. -- Special session , an extraordinary session; a session at an unusual time or for an unusual purpose; as, a special session of Congress or of a legislature. -- Special statute , or Special law , an act of the legislature which has reference to a particular person, place, or interest; -- in distinction from a general law . -- Special verdict (Law) , a special finding of the facts of the case, leaving to the court the application of the law to them. Wharton (Law Dict.).

Syn. -- Peculiar; appropriate; specific; dictinctive; particular; exceptional; singular. See Peculiar .

Special noun
1. A particular. [ Obsolete] Hammond.

2. One appointed for a special service or occasion.

In special , specially; in particular. Chaucer.

Specialism noun Devotion to a particular and restricted part or branch of knowledge, art, or science; as, medical specialism .

Specialist noun One who devotes himself to some specialty; as, a medical specialist , one who devotes himself to diseases of particular parts of the body, as the eye, the ear, the nerves, etc.

Speciality noun ; plural Specialities . [ See Special , and Specialty .]
1. A particular or peculiar case; a particularity. Sir M. Hale.

2. (Law) See Specialty , 3.

3. The special or peculiar mark or characteristic of a person or thing; that for which a person is specially distinguished; an object of special attention; a special occupation or object of attention; a specialty.

On these two general heads all other specialities are depedent.

Strive, while improving your one talent, to enrich your whole capital as a man. It is in this way that you escape from the wretched narrow-mindedness which is the characteristic of every one who cultivates his speciality .
Ld. Lytton.

We 'll say, instead, the inconsequent creature man, -
For that'a his speciality .
Mrs. Browning.

Think of this, sir, . . . remote from the impulses of passion, and apart from the specialities -- if I may use that strong remark -- of prejudice.

4. An attribute or quality peculiar to a species.

Specialization noun
1. The act of specializing, or the state of being spezialized.

2. (Biol.) The setting apart of a particular organ for the performance of a particular function. Darwin.

Specialize transitive verb
1. To mention specially; to particularize.

2. To apply to some specialty or limited object; to assign to a specific use; as, specialized knowledge.

3. (Biol.) To supply with an organ or organs having a special function or functions.

Specially adverb
1. In a special manner; particularly; especially. Chaucer.

2. For a particular purpose; as, a meeting of the legislature is specially summoned.

Specialty noun ; plural Specialties . [ French spécialit é. Confer Speciality .]
1. Particularity.

Specialty of rule hath been neglected.

2. A particular or peculiar case. [ Obsolete]

3. (Law) A contract or obligation under seal; a contract by deed; a writing, under seal, given as security for a debt particularly specified. Chitty. Bouvier. Wharton (Law Dict.).

Let specialties be therefore drawn between us.

4. That for which a person is distinguished, in which he is specially versed, or which he makes an object of special attention; a speciality.

Men of boundless knowledge, like Humbold, must have had once their specialty , their pet subject.
C. Kingsley.

Specie abl. of Latin species sort, kind. Used in the phrase in specie , that is, in sort, in kind, in (its own) form.

"[ The king] expects a return in specie from them" [ i. e. , kindness for kindness].

In specie (Law) , in precise or definite form; specifically; according to the exact terms; of the very thing.

Specie noun [ Formed as a singular from species , in sense 5.] Coin; hard money.

Species noun sing. & plural [ Latin , a sight, outward appearance, shape, form, a particular sort, kind, or quality, a species. See Spice , noun , and confer Specie , Special .]
1. Visible or sensible presentation; appearance; a sensible percept received by the imagination; an image. [ R.] "The species of the letters illuminated with indigo and violet." Sir I. Newton.

Wit, . . . the faculty of imagination in the writer, which searches over all the memory for the species or ideas of those things which it designs to represent.

» In the scholastic philosophy, the species was sensible and intelligible . The sensible species was that in any material, object which was in fact discerned by the mind through the organ of perception, or that in any object which rendered it possible that it should be perceived. The sensible species, as apprehended by the understanding in any of the relations of thought, was called an intelligible species. "An apparent diversity between the species visible and audible is, that the visible doth not mingle in the medium, but the audible doth." Bacon.

2. (Logic) A group of individuals agreeing in common attributes, and designated by a common name; a conception subordinated to another conception, called a genus, or generic conception, from which it differs in containing or comprehending more attributes, and extending to fewer individuals. Thus, man is a species , under animal as a genus ; and man , in its turn, may be regarded as a genus with respect to European , American , or the like, as species .

3. In science, a more or less permanent group of existing things or beings, associated according to attributes, or properties determined by scientific observation.

» In mineralogy and chemistry, objects which possess the same definite chemical structure, and are fundamentally the same in crystallization and physical characters, are classed as belonging to a species . In zoölogy and botany, a species is an ideal group of individuals which are believed to have descended from common ancestors, which agree in essential characteristics, and are capable of indefinitely continued fertile reproduction through the sexes. A species , as thus defined, differs from a variety or subspecies only in the greater stability of its characters and in the absence of individuals intermediate between the related groups.

4. A sort; a kind; a variety; as, a species of low cunning; a species of generosity; a species of cloth.

5. Coin, or coined silver, gold, ot other metal, used as a circulating medium; specie. [ Obsolete]

There was, in the splendor of the Roman empire, a less quantity of current species in Europe than there is now.

6. A public spectacle or exhibition. [ Obsolete] Bacon.

7. (Pharmacy) (a) A component part of compound medicine; a simple. (b) (Medicine) An officinal mixture or compound powder of any kind; esp., one used for making an aromatic tea or tisane; a tea mixture. Quincy.

8. (Civil Law) The form or shape given to materials; fashion or shape; form; figure. Burill.

Incipient species (Zoology) , a subspecies, or variety, which is in process of becoming permanent, and thus changing to a true species, usually by isolation in localities from which other varieties are excluded.

Specifiable adjective Admitting specification; capable of being specified.

Specific adjective [ French spécifique , or New Latin cpesificus ; Latin species a particular sort or kind + facere to make. Confer Specify .]
1. 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.
I. Watts.

2. Specifying; definite, or making definite; limited; precise; discriminating; as, a specific statement.

3. (Medicine) 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 (Medicine) (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 Linnæus 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.

Specific noun
1. (Medicine) A specific remedy. See Specific , adjective , 3.

His parents were weak enough to believe that the royal touch was a specific for this malady.

2. Anything having peculiar adaption to the purpose to which it is applied. Dr. H. More.

Specifical adjective Specific. Bacon.

Specifically adverb In a specific manner.

Specificalness noun The quality of being specific.

Specificate transitive verb [ See Specify .] To show, mark, or designate the species, or the distinguishing particulars of; to specify. [ Obsolete] ir M. Hale.

Specification noun [ Confer French spécification , Late Latin specificatio .]
1. The act of specifying or determining by a mark or limit; notation of limits.

This specification or limitation of the question hinders the disputers from wandering away from the precise point of inquiry.
I. Watts.

2. The designation of particulars; particular mention; as, the specification of a charge against an officer.

3. A written statement containing a minute description or enumeration of particulars, as of charges against a public officer, the terms of a contract, the description of an invention, as in a patent; also, a single article, item, or particular, an allegation of a specific act, as in a charge of official misconduct.

Specificness noun The quality or state of being specific.

Specify transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Specified ; present participle & verbal noun Specifying .] [ French spécifier , or Old French especifier , from Late Latin specificare . See Species , -fy .] To mention or name, as a particular thing; to designate in words so as to distinguish from other things; as, to specify the uses of a plant; to specify articles purchased.

He has there given us an exact geography of Greece, where the countries and the uses of their soils are specified .

Specillum noun [ Latin ] (Medicine) See Stylet , 2.

Specimen noun [ Latin , from 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; a specimen 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.

Speciosity noun ; plural Speciocities . [ Confer Late Latin speciositas .]
1. The quality or state of being specious; speciousness.

Professions built so largely on speciosity , instead of performance.

2. That which is specious. Dr. H. More.

Specious adjective [ Latin speciosus good-looking, beautiful, specious, from species look, show, appearance; confer French spécoeux . See Species .]
1. Presenting a pleasing appearance; pleasing in form or look; showy.

Some [ serpents] specious and beautiful to the eye.
Bp. Richardson.

The rest, far greater part,
Will deem in outward rites and specious forms
Religion satisfied.

2. Apparently right; superficially fair, just, or correct, but not so in reality; appearing well at first view; plausible; as, specious reasoning; a specious argument.

Misled for a moment by the specious names of religion, liberty, and property.

In consequence of their greater command of specious expression.
J. Morley.

Syn. -- Plausible; showy; ostensible; colorable; feasible. See Plausible .

-- Spe"xious*ly adverb -- Spe"cious*ness , noun

Speck noun [ Confer Icelandic spik blubber, Anglo-Saxon spic , Dutch spek , German speck .] The blubber of whales or other marine mammals; also, the fat of the hippopotamus.

Speck falls (Nautical) , falls or ropes rove through blocks for hoisting the blubber and bone of whales on board a whaling vessel.

Speck noun [ Middle English spekke , Anglo-Saxon specca ; confer LG. spaak .]
1. A small discolored place in or on anything, or a small place of a color different from that of the main substance; a spot; a stain; a blemish; as, a speck on paper or loth; specks of decay in fruit. "Gray sand, with black specks ." Anson.

2. A very small thing; a particle; a mite; as, specks of dust; he has not a speck of money.

Many bright specks bubble up along the blue Egean.

3. (Zoology) A small etheostomoid fish ( Ulocentra stigmæa ) common in the Eastern United States.

Speck transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Specked ; present participle & verbal noun Specking .] To cause the presence of specks upon or in, especially specks regarded as defects or blemishes; to spot; to speckle; as, paper specked by impurities in the water used in its manufacture.

Carnation, purple, azure, or specked with gold.

Speckle noun [ Dim. of speck ; confer Dutch spikkel .] A little or spot in or anything, of a different substance or color from that of the thing itself.

An huge great serpent, all with speckles pied.

Speckle transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Speckled ; present participle & verbal noun Speckling .] To mark with small spots of a different color from that of the rest of the surface; to variegate with spots of a different color from the ground or surface.

Speckled adjective Marked or variegated with small spots of a different color from that of the rest of the surface.

Speckled Indians (Ethnol.) , the Pintos. -- Speckled trout . (Zoology) (a) The common American brook trout. See Trout . (b) The rainbow trout.

Speckled-belly noun (Zoology) The gadwall. [ Local, U.S.]

Speckled-bill noun (Zoology) The American white-fronted goose ( Anser albifrons ).

Speckledness noun The quality of being speckled.

Specksioneer noun The chief harpooner, who also directs in cutting up the speck, or blubber; -- so called among whalers.

Speckt noun A woodpecker. See Speight .

Spectacle noun [ French, from Latin spectaculum , from spectare to look at, to behold, v. intens. from specere . See Spy .]
1. Something exhibited to view; usually, something presented to view as extraordinary, or as unusual and worthy of special notice; a remarkable or noteworthy sight; a show; a pageant; a gazingstock.

O, piteous spectacle ? O, bloody times!

2. A spy-glass; a looking-glass. [ Obsolete]

Poverty a spectacle is, as thinketh me,
Through which he may his very friends see.

3. plural An optical instrument consisting of two lenses set in a light frame, and worn to assist sight, to obviate some defect in the organs of vision, or to shield the eyes from bright light.

4. plural Fig.: An aid to the intellectual sight.

Shakespeare . . . needed not the spectacles of books to read nature.

Syn. -- Show; sight; exhibition; representation; pageant.

Spectacled adjective
1. Furnished with spectacles; wearing spectacles.

As spectacled she sits in chimney nook.

2. (Zoology) Having the eyes surrounded by color markings, or patches of naked skin, resembling spectacles.

Spectacled bear (Zoology) , a South American bear ( Tremarclos ornatus ) which inhabits the high mountains of Chili and Peru. It has a light-colored ring around each eye. -- Spectacled coot , or Spectacled duck (Zoology) , the surf scoter, or surf duck. [ Local, U.S.] -- Spectacled eider (Zoology) See Eider . -- Spectacled goose (Zoology) , the gannet. -- Spectacled snake (Zoology) , the cobra de capello.

Spectacular adjective
1. Of or pertaining to a shows; of the nature of a show. " Spectacular sports." G. Hickes.

2. Adapted to excite wonder and admiration by a display of pomp or of scenic effects; as, a spectacular celebration of some event; a spectacular play.

3. Pertaining to spectacles, or glasses for the eyes.

Spectant adjective [ Latin spectans , present participle of spectare to look at.] Looking forward.

Spectation noun [ Latin spectatio .] Regard; aspect; appearance. Harvey.