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specimen: Wikis


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In biology, a specimen is an individual animal, part of an animal, plant, part of a plant, or microorganism used as a representative to study the properties of the whole population of that species or subspecies. When a taxon is described, it is typically based on a single specimen, then referred to as the holotype.

Specimen may also refer to:


In medical laboratory

In rocks, gems, and minerals

  • A piece of a type of rock, gem, or mineral taken from the earth. This can be anything from a jasper to a diamond.

In typography

  • A type specimen is a publication that shows the available glyphs in a typeface, including variations used for ligatures and special ornaments.
  • In handwriting recognition, forensic handwriting analysis and signature verification, the term sample refers to a specimen of handwriting.
  • Central Banks send so-called Specimen banknote (or specimens) to other banks before issuing a new banknote. To avoid its use as a legal tender note the banknote is perforated or punched, given a serial number of .9999999999(all nines) or 0000000000 (all zeroes) or is overprinted with the word "Specimen" or "Cancelled" in any language.


  • Hauser, Steiner, Holstein & Scoble. eds. 2005. Digital Imaging of Biological Type Specimens: A Manual of Best Practice. State Museum of Natural History. ISBN 3000172408



Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary




From Latin specimen (mark, sign, example), from speciō (observe, watch).




specimens or specimina

specimen (plural specimens or specimina)

  1. An individual instance that represents a class; an example.
  2. A sample, especially one used for diagnostic analysis.
  3. (humorous, often preceded with “fine”) An eligible man.
    Examples: w:Image:PostcardLeapYearBeCarefulClara1908.jpg, w:Image:TrinityCollegeConnecticut1905Postcard.jpg

Related terms


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.


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