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

adorable, darling, dear, disarming, endearing, lovable (also loveable), lovesome, sweet, winning, winsome

Antonyms: Adjective

abhorrent, abominable, detestable, hateful, loathsome, odious, unlovable

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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

And veterans feel a loss of precious time that won’t come back to them. John Kass, chicagotribune.com, "The road back for Chicago Fire’s de Leeuw and Mihailovic," 6 July 2018 One of the girls always sat with her, giving up her precious recreation time when the others were allowed out into the garden. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Inside the Romanov Family's Final Days," 1 July 2018 All of Cheryshev’s misadventures also cost him precious time with the national team. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "Russian Soccer’s Foreign Agent," 24 June 2018 Primary day is two months and two days away in Connecticut, which gives the Republican contenders for governor precious little time to try to distinguish themselves and gain separation from the pack. Neil Vigdor, courant.com, "Five Key Takeaways From The First GOP Gubernatorial Primary Debate," 12 June 2018 Yet, many don’t book tee times for singles, considered an inefficient use of precious course time. Diane Mastrull, Philly.com, "Are you a lonely golfer? Jim Lafferty wants to help you find a playdate," 24 May 2018 The event would cut into precious time to campaign and — most importantly — take care of his wife of three decades. Erin Cox, baltimoresun.com, "In governor's race, Democrat Rushern Baker says he turned around Prince George's and will do same for Maryland," 17 May 2018 Prosecutors have said the conspiracy involved stealing trade secrets related to chemicals used to mine precious metals such as gold. Fox News, "Chemours ex-worker who stole trade secrets barred from US," 27 June 2018 Lax controls mean that facilities often burn plastics to release encased copper and use unsafe methods to extract precious metals. The Christian Science Monitor, "Thailand takes first step toward total ban of e-waste," 21 June 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

18 Sep 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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