pre·​cip·​i·​ta·​tion | \ pri-ˌsi-pə-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce precipitation (audio) \

Definition of precipitation

1 : the quality or state of being precipitate : hastiness
2 : an act, process, or instance of precipitating especially : the process of forming a precipitate
3 : something precipitated: such as
a : a deposit on the earth of hail, mist, rain, sleet, or snow also : the quantity of water deposited

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Synonyms & Antonyms for precipitation



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Examples of precipitation in a Sentence

The weather forecast calls for some sort of frozen precipitation tomorrow—either snow or sleet. a 50 percent chance of precipitation Minerals are separated from the seawater by precipitation.
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Recent Examples on the Web Minnesota is experiencing more precipitation and warmer winters. Editorial Board, Star Tribune, "Hennepin County steps up on climate change," 4 Mar. 2021 The system moving through the area Sunday night into Monday could bring precipitation running the gamut from sleet to freezing rain to snow. Mark Dunphy, San Antonio Express-News, "NWS: San Antonio escaping worst cold for now but record-breaking system on its way," 11 Feb. 2021 Meteorologists predicted that La Niña would bring extra precipitation, possibly in the form of snow, in the Great Lakes Region, the Freep has previously reported. Slone Terranella, Detroit Free Press, "National Weather Service: Lack of snow, mild temperatures is the way it's supposed to be," 19 Jan. 2021 The outlook for the period beginning Friday favors above-normal precipitation and below-normal temperatures, suggesting a pattern change. Los Angeles Times, "Strong, potentially damaging winds possible for L.A. region early next week, forecasters say," 16 Jan. 2021 An area of low pressure is forecast to track along the Gulf Coast on Monday and bring precipitation to the whole state. Leigh Morgan, al, "A little snow possible in Alabama on Monday," 9 Jan. 2021 Production increased slightly in 2020 after very low production in 2019 because of extensive precipitation and flooding that year. Brian Lovett, Outdoor Life, "Your State-by-State Spring 2021 Turkey Forecast," 8 Jan. 2021 In its outlook for winter, up to the end of February, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted below average precipitation and a worsening of drought conditions across many southern states. Ciara Nugent, Time, "2020 Was a Year of Climate Extremes. What Can We Expect in 2021?," 31 Dec. 2020 Tomorrow night: While snow piles up in our far western and northwest areas, mixed precipitation and rain elsewhere could change back to snow from west to east overnight before ending predawn. Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: Sunny and cold today as a winter storm arrives Wednesday," 15 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'precipitation.' 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 precipitation

1502, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for precipitation

Time Traveler

The first known use of precipitation was in 1502

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Statistics for precipitation

Last Updated

7 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Precipitation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for precipitation



English Language Learners Definition of precipitation

: water that falls to the ground as rain, snow, etc.
technical : the process of separating a solid substance from a liquid


pre·​cip·​i·​ta·​tion | \ pri-ˌsi-pə-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce precipitation (audio) \

Kids Definition of precipitation

: water that falls to the earth as hail, mist, rain, sleet, or snow


pre·​cip·​i·​ta·​tion | \ pri-ˌsip-ə-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce precipitation (audio) \

Medical Definition of precipitation

1a : the process of forming a precipitate from a solution
b : the process of precipitating or removing solid or liquid particles from a smoke or gas by electrical means

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