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 husband’s Facebook cover photo shows the couple smiling, with arms around each other standing at a Grand Canyon precipice. Jocelyn Gecker, The Seattle Times, "Indian couple who died in Yosemite took risks for photos," 31 Oct. 2018 Indeed, they were seemingly pulled back from the precipice by their hefty price tags alone. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, "Vogue Runway Did a Ten-Year Fashion Challenge: Check Out the Results Here," 30 Jan. 2019 We’re at the precipice of something really big happening, for us and for future generations. Lindsay Schallon, Glamour, "Charlize Theron on the Power of Being a Woman," 28 Nov. 2018 Getting into college is one thing, but experiencing college at the precipice of financial insolvency is another. New York Times, "What’s the Biggest Challenge for Colleges and Universities?," 5 June 2018 The streaming era is on the precipice of becoming just as expensive as the cable era. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "Why Netflix could have lost Friends — and what it means for the future of streaming," 11 Dec. 2018 The stacks look like small shrines to mountain solitude, carefully balanced at the edge of a precipice. Casey Newton, The Verge, "How Kevin Hart tweeted himself out of a job hosting the Oscars," 8 Dec. 2018 Paying attention to neighborhoods on the precipice This move out of the city in search of opportunity is both a result and a cause of economic insecurity, according to Sampson. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "How a ‘reverse Great Migration’ is reshaping U.S. cities," 31 July 2018 Newsletter Sign-up Related Few believe the economy, particularly in the U.S., is on the precipice of a recession. Akane Otani, WSJ, "Stock Market Whiplash Rattles Investors," 23 Oct. 2018

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

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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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