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precipitous

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adjective pre·cip·i·tous \pri-ˈsi-pə-təs\

Simple Definition of precipitous

  • : very steep

  • : happening in a very quick and sudden way

  • : done too quickly and without enough thought or planning

Full Definition of precipitous

  1. 1 :  precipitate 2

  2. 2 a :  very steep, perpendicular, or overhanging in rise or fall <a precipitous slope> b :  having precipitous sides <a precipitous gorge> c :  having a very steep ascent <a precipitous street>

pre·cip·i·tous·ly adverb
pre·cip·i·tous·ness noun

Examples of precipitous

  1. There has been a precipitous decline in home sales recently.

  2. People were shocked by his precipitous fall from political power.



Origin of precipitous

French précipiteux, from Middle French, from Latin precipitium precipice


First Known Use: 1646

Synonym Discussion of precipitous

steep, abrupt, precipitous, sheer mean having an incline approaching the perpendicular. steep implies such sharpness of pitch that ascent or descent is very difficult <a steep hill> <a steep dive>. abrupt implies a sharper pitch and a sudden break in the level <a beach with an abrupt drop-off>. precipitous applies to an incline approaching the vertical <the river winds through a precipitous gorge>. sheer suggests an unbroken perpendicular expanse <sheer cliffs that daunted the climbers>.

Rhymes with precipitous



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