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 The good news is the temperatures will be in the mid-70’s with just a 20% chance of precipitation for the first Monster Energy Cup Series race, and really the worst day for weather for Speedweeks appears to be Friday. Joe Williams, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "NASCAR Betting: Daytona 500 odds, picks and best bets," 12 Feb. 2020 Most of our precipitation comes in a handful of big storms. Michael Cabanatuan,, "A February without rain could boost wildfire danger in Northern California," 11 Feb. 2020 The flooding is expected in large part because record precipitation in the past year has swelled rivers and left soils extremely wet and unable to absorb additional moisture. Thomas Frank, Scientific American, "Second Year of Major Spring Floods Forecast for U.S. Heartland," 10 Feb. 2020 At the time the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration predicted a 40% to 50% chance of more precipitation than normal across Michigan and the northern tier of the nation. Frank Witsil, Detroit Free Press, "2-3 inches of snowfall expected Sunday, but none Monday and Tuesday," 9 Feb. 2020 Still, the brine prevents the initial rounds of precipitation from bonding to the pavement, aiding crews who are in charge of ridding streets of winter's worst. Joe Taschler, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "What are those lines on the road? It's salt brine and Milwaukee has taken it citywide in an effort to keep traffic moving," 7 Feb. 2020 Most of Dallas was spared from this wintry blast as a cold rain was the only precipitation in many areas. Dallas News, "Some North Texas school districts are closed or delayed Wednesday; others are on standby," 5 Feb. 2020 The storm system is already unleashing a variety of wild weather across the West; A massive temperature swing, near hurricane-force wind gusts and the return of winter precipitation. Judson Jones, CNN, "A winter storm is hitting the Rockies and temperatures are about to plunge," 3 Feb. 2020 This storm is forecast to bring various weather effects to the lower 48 through Friday, with precipitation happening in two rounds. NBC News, "Groundhog predicts early spring as new winter storm takes shape," 2 Feb. 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

18 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Precipitation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

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How to pronounce precipitation (audio)

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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