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
Rescinding the program would leave recipients such as Riccy Enriquez Perdomo, of Florence, Kentucky, in a precarious position.
But the extent to which Prince and Feinberg’s proposals are given real consideration could be affected by Bannon’s precarious position in the White House.
Things seemed precarious at first, then triumphant, when Tyrion’s genius plan of infiltrating the castle from the inside worked and Dany’s army presided over a castle full of dead men.
Just how precarious their position is was highlighted by the fact that an emergency surgery for one senator has managed to throw off the whole calendar.
As someone with late-stage ALS though — the average life expectancy is two to five years — Pete’s condition remains precarious.
As Anaya vividly depicted with his floating coffins, our relationship with sea levels and tropical storms puts us in a precarious position.
The images of his dead body lying on the sidewalk with the domes of St. Basil’s Cathedral towering behind sent a chilling message to many in the opposition, who had faced persecution and arrests, just how precarious their position was.
The images of Nemtsov’s body lying on the sidewalk with the domes of St. Basil’s Cathedral towering behind sent a chilling message to many in the opposition, who had faced persecution and arrests, of just how precarious their position was.
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
Definition of precarious for Students
- precarious balance
- a precarious journey
Seen and Heard
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