1. That makes a thing of the species of which it is designating the peculiar property of properties of a thing, which constitute its species, and distinguish it from other things. Thus we say, the specific form of an animal or a plant; the specific form of a cube or square; the specific qualities of a plant or a drug; the specific difference between an acid and an alkali; the specific distinction between virtue and vice. Specific difference is that primary attribute which distinguishes each species form one another.

2. In medicine, appropriate for the cure of a particular disease; that certainly cures or is less fallible than others; as a specific remedy for the gout. The Saratogs waters are found to be a specific remedy, or nearly so, for the cure of bilious complaints, so called.