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
Thus, Anthem is in the precarious position of making promises about an engaging combination of combat, plot, and endgame progression—a juggle that the Destiny series has fumbled time and time again.
Abe’s precarious political position at home would worsen badly if he were seen to have been complicit in a Trump arrangement with Kim that does not address the abductees.
Rosenstein seemed to address his precarious position in a speech earlier this month.
But perhaps no player was more adversely affected by the defensive scheme change than Simon, leaving him in what feels like a precarious position.
The fact that boosters of Majority Whip Steve Scalise have resumed their quiet efforts to position their man as the viable alternative to McCarthy is evidence of the majority leader’s precarious position.
Over the next four hours pressure plummeted, bottoming out below 20 psi, leading to East Jefferson's first boil-water advisory in 13 years and illustrating the precarious nature of a public service that many take for granted.
Hurricane Irma, which inflicted $2.5 billion in losses to Florida’s agricultural community, was just one in a series of natural disasters across the nation in 2017 that showcased the precarious nature of growing and distributing food.
Such analysis might begin by examining the precarious nature of an ever-expanding European project.
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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