Is "specific" an antonym of "unspecified“?

I ask because in some cases I feel it is so, but not always.

  • no, it's specified. specific is an antonym of unspecific! :)
    – Maulik V
    Commented May 12, 2014 at 12:54
  • I wouldn't ask this question. What you said just goes without saying.
    – Kinzle B
    Commented May 12, 2014 at 12:58
  • @ZhanlongZheng I think something that is specified is something stated specifically. In this sense, something specific is something exact and usually it has been specified in the context, where something unspecified is something that hasn't yet been stated specifically. So they're closely related, but I think I wouldn't call them antonyms. Commented May 12, 2014 at 13:47
  • 1
    @Maulik - Many words have more than one antonym. (Quick! What's the antonym of light? Is it dark? Or heavy?). This is a legitimate question. I believe specific and unspecified can function as antonyms in certain contexts. The customer mentioned that there were several specific/unspecified problems with our prototype.
    – J.R.
    Commented May 12, 2014 at 14:02
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    It's not too broad to answer. Too broad would be something like, "What are all the antonyms of specific?"
    – J.R.
    Commented May 12, 2014 at 14:09

1 Answer 1


Not necessarily. They have opposing implications but "a specific item" can be "unspecified". For instance, you may be required to insert Item A into Slot B. "Item A" is a specific item in the instructions but what "Item A" corresponds to in your bag of parts may be unspecified.

By corollary, an unspecific item can be specified. "Insert a rod into Slot B". Which rod? It specified to insert a rod, not a tube or something else, but it left unspecified which rod.

Anyway, "yes and no" is about as specific an answer you'll get here.

  • I have similar thoughts about it. You made it clear for me.
    – Kinzle B
    Commented May 13, 2014 at 3:21

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