v. spe·cial·ized, spe·cial·iz·ing, spe·cial·iz·es
a. To pursue a special activity, occupation, or field of study: a doctor who specializes in cardiology.
b. To provide something in particular or have something as a focus: The shop specializes in mountain-climbing gear.
2. Biology To become adapted to a specific function or environment; undergo specialization.
1. To give a particular character or function to: specialized her field of research.
2. Biology To adapt to a particular function or environment; cause to undergo specialization.
3. Archaic To make specific mention of; specify.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.