precipitous

play
adjective pre·cip·i·tous \ pri-ˈsi-pə-təs \

Definition of precipitous

2 a :very steep, perpendicular, or overhanging in rise or fall
  • a precipitous slope
b :having precipitous sides
  • a precipitous gorge
c :having a very steep ascent
  • a precipitous street

precipitously

adverb

precipitousness

noun

Examples of precipitous in a Sentence

  1. There has been a precipitous decline in home sales recently.

  2. People were shocked by his precipitous fall from political power.

Recent Examples of precipitous from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'precipitous.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of precipitous

French précipiteux, from Middle French, from Latin precipitium precipice

Synonym Discussion of precipitous

steep, abrupt, precipitous, sheer mean having an incline approaching the perpendicular. steep implies such sharpness of pitch that ascent or descent is very difficult.
    • a steep hill
    • a steep dive
abrupt implies a sharper pitch and a sudden break in the level.
    • a beach with an abrupt drop-off
precipitous applies to an incline approaching the vertical.
    • the river winds through a precipitous gorge
sheer suggests an unbroken perpendicular expanse.
    • sheer cliffs that daunted the climbers

PRECIPITOUS Defined for English Language Learners

precipitous

play
adjective

Definition of precipitous for English Language Learners

  • : very steep

  • : happening in a very quick and sudden way

  • : done too quickly and without enough thought or planning



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