adjective pre·cise \ pri-ˈsīs \
|Updated on: 10 Aug 2018

Definition of precise

1 : exactly or sharply defined or stated
2 : minutely exact
3 : strictly conforming to a pattern, standard, or convention
4 : distinguished from every other
  • at just that precise moment



Examples of precise in a Sentence

  1. Be sure to take precise measurements before you cut the cloth.

  2. The dating of very old materials has become more precise with new instruments.

  3. The word has a very precise meaning.

  4. Can you find a more precise term than “good” to describe the movie?

  5. Could you be a little more precise about what happened?

  6. She is very precise in her work.

Recent Examples of precise from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of precise

Middle English, from Middle French precis, from Latin praecisus, past participle of praecidere to cut off, from prae- + caedere to cut

Synonym Discussion of precise

correct, accurate, exact, precise, nice, right mean conforming to fact, standard, or truth. correct usually implies freedom from fault or error.
    • correct answers
    • socially correct dress
accurate implies fidelity to fact or truth attained by exercise of care.
    • an accurate description
exact stresses a very strict agreement with fact, standard, or truth.
    • exact measurements
precise adds to exact an emphasis on sharpness of definition or delimitation.
    • precise calibration
nice stresses great precision and delicacy of adjustment or discrimination.
    • makes nice distinctions
right is close to correct but has a stronger positive emphasis on conformity to fact or truth rather than mere absence of error or fault.
    • the right thing to do

PRECISE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of precise for English Language Learners

  • : very accurate and exact

  • —used to refer to an exact and particular time, location, etc.

  • : very careful and exact about the details of something

PRECISE Defined for Kids


adjective pre·cise \ pri-ˈsīs \

Definition of precise for Students

1 : exactly stated or explained
  • He gave precise instructions.
2 : very exact : accurate
  • The clay for glaze was mixed in precise proportions with water and wood ash.
  • —Linda Sue Park, A Single Shard
3 : being exactly the one mentioned or indicated and no other
  • At that precise moment, the telephone rang.



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having an air of easy unconcern

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