precipitous

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

Definition of precipitous

  1. 1 :  precipitate 2

  2. 2a :  very steep, perpendicular, or overhanging in rise or fall a precipitous slopeb :  having precipitous sides a precipitous gorgec :  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



Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

clear to the understanding

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • istock-refers-to-this-as-a-tumble-of-strawberries-which-sounded-pretty-nice-to-us
  • Which is a synonym of garner?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!