precious

adjective
pre·​cious | \ˈpre-shəs \

Definition of precious 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of great value or high price precious jewels

2 : highly esteemed or cherished a precious friend

3 : excessively refined : affected precious manners

4 : great, thoroughgoing a precious scoundrel

precious

adverb

Definition of precious (Entry 2 of 2)

: very, extremely has precious little to say

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Other Words from precious

Adjective

preciousness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for precious

Synonyms: Adjective

big-ticket, costly, dear, expensive, extravagant, high, high-end, high-ticket, premium, priceless, pricey (also pricy), spendy [chiefly Northwest], ultraexpensive, valuable

Antonyms: Adjective

cheap, inexpensive

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Examples of precious in a Sentence

Adjective

That so many of China's cleverest and most creative men and women had to sell their books and their most precious carvings and family seals to keep themselves alive, while corpulent nationalists and their friends dined well in local banquet halls, gave them some right to schadenfreude. — Simon Winchester, The Man Who Loved China, 2008 Of course, the war pronounces on us all. Some precious glee we seek is absent, the season less substantial, less likeable. — Richard Ford, Wall Street Journal, 14-15 June 2008 The world is, as usual, a frightening place to enter for all save the precious few impaired by inherited security. — David Mamet, True and False, 1997 … and, though to him those precious moments at the end of each day had symbolized the realization of his every hope, to her they had meant not a goddamn thing. — Philip Roth, American Pastoral, 1997 diamonds and other precious stones We can save precious time by taking this shortcut. They were able to be together for only a few precious hours. the family's most precious moments

Adverb

She had precious little to say. There are precious few hours of sunlight left.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

So the fact that Meghan and Harry were given such precious items is truly a privilege. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle's Unique Necklace Is a Symbol of Strength and Integrity," 31 Oct. 2018 In season 2 of Riverdale, Betty's not-half brother, Chic came into our lives, totally creeped us out, cut up the Cooper's precious family photos, and turned poor Alice Cooper into a murderer. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "4 Clues That Prove Chic Is Actually Still Alive On "Riverdale"," 4 Oct. 2018 The second reason is more logistical: The president’s time is a precious thing. Alex Ward, Vox, "How Trump undermines the best part of his foreign policy," 31 July 2018 The list is almost endless for this administration that seems to consider early boarding, free airplane meals, and nice furnishings more precious than rubies. Kevin Baker, The New Republic, "Why America needs truth and reconciliation after Trump," 17 May 2018 But some things, like burying precious things deep underground, will never change. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "The Vaults Where Bitcoin Billionaires Hide Their Fortunes," 9 May 2018 Perkins has learned to carve precious time out of her day to take care of her skin. Jenna Rosenstein, Harper's BAZAAR, "Desi Perkins Shares Her Nighttime Skincare Routine," 25 Sep. 2018 So why are airlines padding their schedules with precious time? Meredith Carey, Condé Nast Traveler, "Airlines Are Padding Flight Times to Avoid Being 'Late'," 28 Aug. 2018 My brain to this keyboard: New offensive line, new defensive line, new defensive playbook, new culture … and precious little time to learn with San Diego State, Michigan State and Washington in the first month. Jon Wilner Pac-12 Hotline, The Seattle Times, "Analysis: What are the best and worse training camp outcomes for every team in the Pac-12?," 4 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'precious.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of precious

Adjective

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adverb

1595, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for precious

Adjective

Middle English, from Anglo-French precios, from Latin pretiosus, from pretium price — more at price

Adverb

see precious entry 1

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Statistics for precious

Last Updated

11 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for precious

The first known use of precious was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for precious

precious

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of precious

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: rare and worth a lot of money

: very valuable or important : too valuable or important to be wasted or used carelessly

: greatly loved, valued, or important

precious

adverb

English Language Learners Definition of precious (Entry 2 of 2)

: very or extremely

precious

adjective
pre·​cious | \ˈpre-shəs \

Kids Definition of precious

1 : very valuable Diamonds and emeralds are precious stones.

2 : greatly loved or valued a precious friend precious memories

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More from Merriam-Webster on precious

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for precious

Spanish Central: Translation of precious

Nglish: Translation of precious for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of precious for Arabic Speakers

Comments on precious

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