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pre·​cip·​i·​tant pri-ˈsi-pə-tənt How to pronounce precipitant (audio)
precipitantly adverb
precipitantness noun


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: a precipitating agent
especially : one that causes the formation of a precipitate

Examples of precipitant in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
In an essay in the Times, Clare Frank, a former chief of fire protection in California, cites pyrotechnics at a gender-reveal party, the smoking out of wasp nests, and campers who decided to burn their excrement as precipitants of recent wildfires. Dhruv Khullar, The New Yorker, 25 June 2023 For young adults, loneliness and social isolation are major precipitants of suicide, experts say. New York Times, 25 June 2018 According to the most recent CDC report, loss of children and relationships is a leading precipitant to suicide. April Foreman, Fortune, 21 June 2018 The narrator, a reporter, and two of his newspaper colleagues share their research on suicide: social and psychological precipitants; variations in incidence by season and country; philosophical and religious arguments for and against; and so on. Benjamin Kunkel, The New Yorker, 23 Jan. 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'precipitant.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1608, in the meaning defined above


1685, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of precipitant was in 1608

Dictionary Entries Near precipitant

Cite this Entry

“Precipitant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Feb. 2024.

Medical Definition


pre·​cip·​i·​tant pri-ˈsip-ət-ənt How to pronounce precipitant (audio)
: something that precipitates
especially : a chemical agent that causes the formation of a precipitate

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