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

Two fronts moving toward the Kenai Peninsula and Anchorage are expected to bring rain starting Friday, with precipitation expected Saturday and Sunday as well, according to the National Weather Service. Annie Zak, Anchorage Daily News, "Rain is in the forecast for Southcentral Alaska, but not enough to put out wildfires," 30 Aug. 2019 With average annual precipitation of 61.2 inches, Mobile was ranked as the 14th rainiest city in the U.S. Mobile receives an average of 4 hours, 53 minutes of full sun per day with average daily max temperature of 76 degrees. Leada Gore |, al, "Alabama home to 2 of the rainiest cities in America," 14 Aug. 2019 The previous 12-month period in the U.S. has been the wettest since record keeping began 125 years ago, with average precipitation topping 19 inches, according to NOAA data released this week. Justin Worland, Time, "Why Is Tropical Storm Barry Such a Threat? The Science Behind the Brewing Hurricane," 12 July 2019 Up to three inches of snow is expected, with precipitation turning to rain later this afternoon, according to the National Weather Service. Seattle Times Staff, The Seattle Times, "Updates from Seattle’s snowy Monday: Rain coming as warm air moves north," 12 Feb. 2019 Recent heavy rains have raised Lake Lanier over its full pool elevation of 1,071 feet, and the levels are expected to rise with more forecasted precipitation, according to an Army Corps release. Helena Oliviero, ajc, "What you need to know about swimming in Lake Lanier, Chattahoochee River and other open waters in Georgia," 3 June 2018 Forecast precipitation amounts were also cited as a key area of progress. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "The long-awaited upgrade to the US weather forecast model is here," 12 June 2019 Snow showers are expected to pick up after 4 a.m., but precipitation amounts are expected to stay between a quarter and a half inch. Justin L. Mack, Indianapolis Star, "Indianapolis weather: 3-6 inches of snow could fall this weekend," 22 Mar. 2018 New precipitation amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible. Carlie Kollath Wells,, "Overnight thunderstorms likely in New Orleans: March 5 forecast," 5 Mar. 2018

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

2 Sep 2019

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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).


recurring in steady succession

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