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


haste, hastiness, hurry, hustle, precipitousness, rush


deliberateness, deliberation

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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 chance of precipitation is 40 percent, the NWS said. Kirk Mitchell, The Denver Post, "Denver weather: Sunny in the city as storms rattle the foothills and mountains," 6 June 2019 Nearly half an inch of precipitation fell on the city in just an hour and a half, according to meteorologist Rebecca Anderson of the National Weather Service’s Anchorage forecasting office. Author: Madeline Mcgee, Anchorage Daily News, "Thunderstorms likely to return to the Valley today after Monday flooding in Palmer," 4 June 2019 Coastal areas of Texas have already received a lot of precipitation for the month of August, and soils there are mostly waterlogged. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Hurricane Florence represents a grave threat to the East Coast," 10 Sep. 2018 The first chance of precipitation in the forecast is on Wednesday. Emily Sweeney,, "But for Wednesday, sunny days ahead," 11 June 2018 Rain showers are expected to hang on for the Rose Festival weekend, with clouds and precipitation in the Portland Sunday forecast. Kristi Turnquist,, "Portland weather Sunday: More rain, but sun returns later this week," 10 June 2018 The tiny satellites will cary everything from miniature, experimental radar instruments to study precipitation in Earth’s atmosphere to new technologies designed to cut through the growing amount of radio frequency interference around Earth. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Orbital ATK will launch an Antares rocket to the International Space Station tomorrow morning," 20 May 2018 For many farmers here, the sudden falloff in precipitation is reminiscent of the devastating drought of 2011 when Texas agriculture lost $7.6 billion, the worst losses on record in the state. Jim Carlton, WSJ, "Farmers Across High Plains Brace for Hard Times as Drought Bears Down," 13 May 2018 Some areas, such as Bonney Lake, saw snowflakes Tuesday night, but most regions experienced the precipitation as good, old-fashioned rain. Christine Clarridge, The Seattle Times, "Don’t worry, Seattle: Snow isn’t likely this week, despite earlier warning," 20 Feb. 2019

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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Statistics for precipitation

Last Updated

10 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for precipitation

The first known use of precipitation was in 1502

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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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Comments on precipitation

What made you want to look up precipitation? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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