precipice

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noun prec·i·pice \ˈpre-s(ə-)pəs\

Definition of precipice

  1. 1 :  a very steep or overhanging place

  2. 2 :  a hazardous situation; broadly :  brink

Examples of precipice in a Sentence

  1. Twenty years ago, it seemed unlikely that black and white South Africans could avoid a cataclysmic struggle. How did we manage to turn back from the precipice and join one another in the long walk to a nonracial democracy? —F. W. De Klerk, Time, 18 Apr. 2005

  2. These are the brave, friendly guys and gals who flip, twist, spin and somersault themselves backward into the sky and somehow land on a horrifyingly steep precipice without rearranging their rib cages or breaking their faces. —Curry Kirkpatrick, Newsweek, 21 Feb. 1994

  3. … the helpless Cambodians were bused from the safety of a refugee camp to an outcropping along the border several hundred miles to the northeast, where they were forced over the precipice into a wild and inaccessible part of Cambodia from which it would be almost impossible to return to Thailand. —Barbara Crossette, New York Times Book Review, 2 Aug. 1987

  4. He stood on the edge of the precipice.

  5. scaled the steep precipice with the ease of an experienced climber

Recent Examples of precipice from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of precipice

French, from Middle French, from Latin praecipitium, from praecipit-, praeceps headlong, from prae- + caput head — more at head



PRECIPICE Defined for English Language Learners

precipice

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noun

Definition of precipice for English Language Learners

  • : a very steep side of a mountain or cliff

  • : a point where danger, trouble, or difficulty begins


PRECIPICE Defined for Kids

precipice

play
noun prec·i·pice \ˈpre-sə-pəs\

Definition of precipice for Students

  1. :  a very steep side of a mountain or cliff



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