Via a quick check in the thesaurus, it returned the terms 'specific' and 'specificity'. What I have in mind is 'specificalization', but that word does not exist.

  • Although specific is an apt antonym for the sense of general from which the verb to generalize derives its meanings, the verb from to specify is not a particularly good antonym for most of the meanings of to generalize. It would help if you clarified the sense of generalization that you want to oppose, and especially if you gave an example of how you want to use the word you're after.
    – PellMel
    Commented May 5, 2016 at 22:19
  • 1
    Specialization seems like the obvious answer to me.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented May 5, 2016 at 22:21

4 Answers 4


Some words that also come to my mind asides from specialization: example, exemplar, illustration, implementation. These are all synonymous, but specialization or specification are probably good fits.


In logic, the opposite to generalization is instantiation. When you have shown than something is true of an arbitrarily chosen individual, the rule of universal generalization allows you to infer that it is true of all individuals. When you know that something is true of all individuals, universal instantiation allows you to infer that it is true of any arbitrarily chosen individual.


particularization, but use with caution, it isn't very common in the wild.

the act of particularizing : the condition of being particularized

"Particularization." Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 5 May 2016.


Not mentioned so far: "get down to brass tacks", "get down to particulars", nitpick...

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.