Literally speaking "unspecific" is the opposite of "specific", though I don't think it fits my intended use well.

Math is an abstract concept. There is nothing physical about math. Though it is very abstract, it is still very specific in the sense that everything is very well defined. What word could be used to describe something that is the opposite of the specificity math has? I'm looking for words similar to "open ended" or "loosey-goosey".

Another example would be how politicians tend to talk in vague terms without specifics.

  • 2
    General, vague, generalized, generalization, variable (in the math sense)
    – iMerchant
    Commented Feb 28, 2017 at 8:05
  • Childish is the word you want; the specificity of math is opposed to its lack among children and others whose minds are not accustomed to keeping dozens of axioms satisfied simultaneously. Commented Feb 28, 2017 at 15:16

4 Answers 4



  1. not specific or definite:

This would be like:

"Politicians tend to talk in general terms without specifics."


You used the word vague yourself, that's a good start.

The usual opposite of specific is non-specific. Inspecific or unspecific can be read to suggest some specification that's incomplete. Non-specific suggests a lack of intention towards any specificity.

Other words you could use are ethereal, fuzzy, rough or loose.

  • Yes. It's a technical term in linguistics. English has both specific and non-specific indefinite nouns. For instance, in She's looking for a policeman, but she can't find him, the indefinite noun phrase a policeman is specific, because him refers to a specific person. But in She's looking for a policeman, but she can't find one, it's non-specific, because one doesn't refer to a specific person. Commented May 21, 2018 at 2:57

You could use 'random' as an antonym.


In terms of programming, when we aren't working with something that has been specified, we are usually working with something generic or abstract. so those two words are also an option, i guess.

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