precarious was our Word of the Day on 07/01/2015. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of precarious in a Sentence
- These states are corrupt and brutal. They are theocracies, or precarious autocracies, or secular totalitarian states: tyrannies all, deniers of freedom, republics of fear, enemies of civility and human flourishing. —Ramesh Ponnuru, National Review, 15 Oct. 2001
- Such folks led a precarious existence, their homes routinely destroyed in pursuit of a scorched earth policy whenever Florence came under siege. —R. W. B. Lewis, Dante, 2001
- She was the first baby he had ever held; he had thought it would be a precarious experience, shot through with fear of dropping something so precious and fragile, but no, in even the smallest infant there was an adhesive force, a something that actively fit your arms and hands, banishing the fear. —John Updike, The Afterlife, 1994
He earned a precarious livelihood by gambling.
The strong wind almost knocked him off of his precarious perch on the edge of the cliff.
Recent Examples of precarious from the Web
After graduating 15 of its 41 players from last season, the ThunderWolves found itself in a precarious position during spring practice with a roster in the low 20s.
Erdogan’s son-in-law, who previously served as energy minister, assumes responsibility for Turkey’s finances at a precarious time.
Quicken Loans, for example, maintains the current rules leave businesses in the precarious position of having some clients who would like to receive a call but the companies cannot call without violating the law.
Currently, there is no visa program for year-round workers on dairy farms, so the precarious status of these workers poses serious concerns for the economic viability of the dairy industry.
In the 54th minute, Spain broke through Iran’s defensive wall to win 1-0 and avoid the precarious position of possibly missing the knockout stage of its second consecutive World Cup.
But, these new tools—especially a service for dating, in which people can be at their most vulnerable with one another—come at a precarious time for Facebook.
But its precarious status these days is illustrated by state Senate Bill 827, sponsored by a senator from San Francisco named Scott Wiener.
The new targets and ultimatums dished out today by Musk come at a precarious time for Tesla.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'precarious.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
This little happiness is so very precarious, that it wholly depends on the will of others. Joseph Addison, in a 1711 issue of Spectator magazine, couldn't have described the oldest sense of precarious more precisely-the original meaning of the word was "depending on the will or pleasure of another." Prayers and entreaties directed at that "other" might or might not help, but what precariousness really hangs on, in the end, is prex, the Latin word for prayer. From prex came the Latin word precarius, meaning "obtained by entreaty," from whence came our own adjective precarious. Anglo-French priere, also from precarius, gave us prayer.
Synonym Discussion of precarious
- soldiers on a dangerous mission
- claims that smoking is hazardous to your health
- earned a precarious living by gambling
- perilous mountain roads
- shied away from risky investments
PRECARIOUS Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of precarious for English Language Learners
: not safe, strong, or steady
PRECARIOUS Defined for Kids
Seen and Heard
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