If you describe something as specific, you're signaling that you're being precise. Say you ask your friend to meet you at a specific time and place — it means you want to meet her at, say, Ray's Pizza at 3:00 PM, not just anywhere.

Specific also means "detailed and exact." That's the sense of the word that comes into play when a teacher advises you to be as specific as possible. Indeed, specific writing paints a picture. Say your friend Angela lives on a soybean farm in Iowa and takes Claritin for her pollen allergy. That might not be the most interesting fact in the world, but it's a lot more interesting than saying you have a friend who lives in the Midwest and takes medicine for a problem. If the sentence about Angela's pollen allergy is interesting at all, it's because of the specifics.

Definitions of specific
  1. adjective
    stated explicitly or in detail
    “needed a specific amount”
    clearly and explicitly stated
  2. adjective
    relating to or distinguishing or constituting a taxonomic species
    specific characters”
  3. adjective
    (sometimes followed by `to') applying to or characterized by or distinguishing something particular or special or unique
    “rules with specific application”
    “demands specific to the job”
    “a specific and detailed account of the accident”
    ad hoc
    for or concerned with one specific purpose
    fully detailed and specific about particulars
    limited, special
    having a specific function or scope
    particular, peculiar, special
    unique or specific to a person or thing or category
    separate and distinct from others of the same group or category
    particularised, particularized
    directed toward a specific object
    limited to the thing specified
    (followed by `to') applying exclusively to a given category or condition or locality
    sharply exact or accurate or delimited
    specialised, specialized
    developed or designed for a special activity or function
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    applying to all or most members of a category or group
    not caused by a specific agent; used also of staining in making microscope slides
    comprehensive, overarching
    including all or everything
    not marked by fine distinctions
    broad, unspecific
    not detailed or specific
    all-purpose, general-purpose
    not limited in use or function
    applicable to an entire class or group
    lacking fine distinctions or detail
    involving only main features
    existing everywhere
    applicable to or common to all members of a group or set
    widely circulated or diffused
    not precise
    unspecialised, unspecialized
    not specialized or modified for a particular purpose or function
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  4. adjective
    being or affecting a disease produced by a particular microorganism or condition; used also of stains or dyes used in making microscope slides
    “quinine is highly specific for malaria”
    “a specific remedy”
    “a specific stain is one having a specific affinity for particular structural elements”
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    not caused by a specific agent; used also of staining in making microscope slides
  5. noun
    a fact about some part (as opposed to general)
    synonyms: particular
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    a fact about the whole (as opposed to particular)
    type of:
    a piece of information about circumstances that exist or events that have occurred
  6. noun
    a medicine that has a mitigating effect on a specific disease
    “quinine is a specific for malaria”
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    type of:
    medicament, medication, medicinal drug, medicine
    (medicine) something that treats or prevents or alleviates the symptoms of disease
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