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 situation for South Korea (and much of Japan) is much more precarious because of the number of short and medium-range missiles North Korea is believed to have.
By stubbornly insisting on extreme views, Trump is pushing many of his aides into a familiar but increasingly precarious position: forcing them to choose between resigning on moral grounds, or remaining on utilitarian ones.
The Hall of Records was finished in the 1990s, sans those original charter documents, but its precarious position makes public viewing impossible.
In many cases, owners may be unaware of their precarious situations.
In addition to premium increases, the enrollment period is more precarious this year because the Trump administration has taken several significant steps that will hinder the enrollment experience.
The surfacing of the interview comes at an apparently precarious moment for the man who is credited with shepherding Mr. Trump to victory in last year’s election.
The commission urged the government, led by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, to act quickly and decisively, even in the face of public opposition, saying the situation was becoming more precarious.
But the administration has also been conducting its own review of Puerto Rico's precarious financial position, sources involved with the process said, with the expectation that additional help will be necessary in the near future.
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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