noun \ˈpre-s(ə-)pəs\

: a very steep side of a mountain or cliff

: a point where danger, trouble, or difficulty begins

Full Definition of PRECIPICE

:  a very steep or overhanging place
:  a hazardous situation; broadly :  brink

Examples of PRECIPICE

  1. He stood on the edge of the precipice.
  2. <scaled the steep precipice with the ease of an experienced climber>
  3. Twenty years ago, it seemed unlikely that black and white South Africans could avoid a cataclysmic struggle. How did we manage to turn back from the precipice and join one another in the long walk to a nonracial democracy? —F. W. De Klerk, Time, 18 Apr. 2005


French, from Middle French, from Latin praecipitium, from praecipit-, praeceps headlong, from prae- + caput head — more at head
First Known Use: 1613


Next Word in the Dictionary: precipitable
Previous Word in the Dictionary: precipe
All Words Near: precipice

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up precipice? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).