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1. Of some kind of work, done with the hope of selling it to make a profit, but without a prior agreement or contract. "Spec" is short for "speculation." No, we didn't commission the developer to build our house—it was built on spec with the rest of them. Dave wrote that script on spec and ended up selling it to the studio.
2. According to exact specifications. If you need any computers built on spec, they're the team to do it.
3. Describing an attempt to attend an event without obtaining a ticket (or other means of entrance) beforehand. Primarily heard in UK. You can't go to that play on spec—it's too popular, and you'll never get in.
1. using money risked in the hope of profit; on speculation. He lives by buying and selling houses on spec. I think it might be an idea to build a few yachts on spec just now.
2. as specified; right on specifications. This has been built exactly on spec—just as you asked. It's important to make sure the design is on spec or the customer will not pay.
Done on a speculative basis; with no assurance of profit. For example, We didn't design our house; the builder built it on spec. The use of spec as an abbreviation for speculation dates from the late 1700s.
on specin the hope of success but without any specific plan or instructions. informal
The informal abbreviation of speculation to spec was originally American, but it has been used in British English since the early 19th century, and the phrase on spec itself dates from the mid 19th century.
2000 Times As large sculpture is commissioned before being produced, Barbara's routine became the opposite of Ben's, whose work was produced on spec.
do something on ˈspec(British English, informal) go somewhere without a ticket, an appointment, etc. in the hope that you will be able to get something you want: That restaurant’s very popular. You’ll never get a table if you just turn up on spec.
Spec is short for speculation (= doing something without knowing all the facts).
On a speculation basis; with no assurance of profit: houses built on spec; writes TV commercials on spec.