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
The Buckeyes, who will be in a precarious situation all season with their roster because of inexperience and positional imbalance, couldn't overcome prolonged first-half minutes without junior forward and leading scorer Keita Bates-Diop.
The longer Snyder waits the more precarious Taylor's situation.
Contrary to what some have suggested, white millennial Trump voters were not in more economically precarious situations than non-Trump voters.
From a language preservationist’s perspective, this is a precarious situation.
The subsequent arrival of Hurricane Maria created a humanitarian crisis that has exacerbated the government’s precarious financial situation.
Most are in precarious situations, and many have taken time off from work to be here.
And the monastery steps, home to storm petrel birds, were under heavy traffic for 12 hours a day, creating a precarious situation for the small animals.
But finishing third put her in a precarious position.
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
PRECARIOUS Defined for Kids
Seen and Heard
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