precipice

noun
prec·​i·​pice | \ ˈpre-s(ə-)pəs How to pronounce precipice (audio) \

Definition of precipice

1 : a very steep or overhanging place
2 : a hazardous situation broadly : brink

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Examples of precipice in a Sentence

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 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 … 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 He stood on the edge of the precipice. scaled the steep precipice with the ease of an experienced climber
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Recent Examples on the Web

Her solid play has halted plans of a rebuild and has the Lynx on the precipice of a playoff spot despite being without longtime stars Maya Moore, Lindsay Whalen and Rebekkah Brunson for the first season in years. Dane Mizutani, Twin Cities, "Sylvia Fowles is a six-time All Star and has become Lynx’s ‘Mama Syl’," 26 July 2019 David Plowden’s shots of lonely, mostly Midwestern roads set a tone here, as do Melissa Ann Pinney’s looks at women on the precipice. Steve Johnson, chicagotribune.com, "‘Go Down Moses’ at Chicago’s MoCP moves from contemplation to cacophony (and back)," 24 July 2019 That's the chaotic bit; the altogether more troubling question for some is on the moral values of a man on the precipice of power. Luke Mcgee, CNN, "Boris Johnson, the divisive Brexit-backing populist or the charming liberal metropolitan? UK has no idea which leader it'll get," 13 July 2019 Scientists warn that the area is on the precipice of an environmental crisis. Anthony Faiola, Washington Post, "The price of ‘progress’ in the Amazon," 28 June 2019 Ring of Honor is on the precipice of an important weekend, with a show on Saturday at the Manhattan Center’s Hammerstein Ballroom headlined by Matt Taven defending the world title against Jay Lethal. Justin Barrasso, SI.com, "The Week in Wrestling: Tommaso Ciampa Has a Simple Goal on the Road Back From Injury," 17 July 2019 The day’s events have left lawmakers in both parties confused about whether the United States remains on the precipice of a military conflict or if an imminent crisis had been averted. John Hudson, BostonGlobe.com, "‘We were cocked loaded’: Trump’s account of Iran attack plan facing scrutiny," 22 June 2019 The day's events have left lawmakers in both parties confused about whether the United States remains on the precipice of a military conflict or if an imminent crisis had been averted. Author: John Hudson, Missy Ryan, Erin Cunningham, Anchorage Daily News, "Trump’s account of planning, then canceling strikes on Iran is facing scrutiny," 21 June 2019 The day’s events have left lawmakers in both parties confused about whether the United States remains on the precipice of a military conflict or if an imminent crisis had been averted. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "Trump’s account of Iran strike decision draws scrutiny," 21 June 2019

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.

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First Known Use of precipice

1613, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for precipice

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

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Statistics for precipice

Last Updated

10 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for precipice

The first known use of precipice was in 1613

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More Definitions for precipice

precipice

noun

English Language Learners Definition of precipice

: a very steep side of a mountain or cliff
: a point where danger, trouble, or difficulty begins

precipice

noun
prec·​i·​pice | \ ˈpre-sə-pəs How to pronounce precipice (audio) \

Kids Definition of precipice

: a very steep side of a mountain or cliff

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Comments on precipice

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