pre·​cip·​i·​tous | \ pri-ˈsi-pə-təs How to pronounce precipitous (audio) \

Definition of precipitous

2a : 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

Other Words from precipitous

precipitously adverb
precipitousness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of precipitous in a Sentence

There has been a precipitous decline in home sales recently. People were shocked by his precipitous fall from political power.
Recent Examples on the Web While some users were distraught at the precipitous drop in Luna this week, other users found camaraderie in the situation on Reddit, replying to other members of the forum and telling them that the best thing is to move on to the next project. Marco Quiroz-gutierrez, Fortune, 11 May 2022 In Los Angeles, where my kids attend public school, the decrease in enrollment was even more precipitous. Deborah Netburnstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 12 Apr. 2022 What might have been a precipitous drop for a player once projected as a top-15 pick came to a halt when the Baltimore Ravens selected Ojabo with the No. 45 overall pick, in Round 2 of the 2022 NFL draft. Michael Cohen, Detroit Free Press, 30 Apr. 2022 In Cuyahoga County, a Democratic stronghold, a precipitous drop in requests for mail ballots has remained as Election Day approaches. Andrew J. Tobias, cleveland, 27 Apr. 2022 Despite a precipitous drop in opioid prescribing since the guidelines were published, drug overdose deaths have surpassed 100,000 in the U.S. in 2020-2021. Antje M. Barreveld, STAT, 14 Apr. 2022 Elliott soon became alarmed at the precipitous drop in seals on the islands and realized that both leaseholders and government representatives were misrepresenting facts. Nancy Lord, Anchorage Daily News, 2 Apr. 2022 Germany was the European country that reported the most cases last week, and hasn’t seen the precipitous drop in transmission that has occurred in other countries, such as the U.K. and U.S. Naomi Kresge,, 11 Mar. 2022 Both Vladimir Putin and President Xi of China took the wrong message out of our precipitous withdrawal from Afghanistan. CBS News, 25 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of precipitous

1612, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for precipitous

French précipiteux, from Middle French, from Latin precipitium precipice

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The first known use of precipitous was in 1612

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Last Updated

16 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Precipitous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on precipitous

Nglish: Translation of precipitous for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of precipitous for Arabic Speakers


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