My mother language is Farsi (Persian) and in my language "Unspecified" and "Undetermined" have exactly the same meaning. I did a little search and what i found is as follows:

  • Unspecified means "Known but not named"
  • Undetermined means "Not seen or understood clearly"

Are these actually true? Is there really any difference between the two words? If so, can you provide some examples that clearly demonstrates the difference between the two?

  • 1
    The outcome of something can be determined (by someone or something) but simply not specified (in a conversation). That should indicate that there's a difference between the two. Commented May 25, 2020 at 16:31

1 Answer 1


I guess you are talking about the Farsi words that a bilingual dictionary gives as translations of the two English words. Maybe a different bilingual dictionary would give you better definitions.

"Unspecified" means not specified, or not mentioned or not named. It doesn't necessarily mean that something is known. Your definition of "undetermined" isn't quite right, either.

Merriam-Webster "unspecified"
not named or stated explicitly; not specified

Merriam-Webster "undetermined"
not definitely or authoritatively decided, settled, or identified : not determined

Since both words are defined as the opposite of the same form without "un-", you can probably get a better idea of the meanings by looking for "specify" and "determine" in a few dictionaries.

Imagine a conversation to show the difference between the two words:

"I notice that you have not specified the stress level the beam can sustain." (It's unspecfied).

"That's correct, we didn't specify it because the value has not yet been determined." (It's undetermined.)

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .