pre·​cise | \ pri-ˈsīs How to pronounce precise (audio) \

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

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Other Words from precise

preciseness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of precise in a Sentence

Be sure to take precise measurements before you cut the cloth. The dating of very old materials has become more precise with new instruments. The word has a very precise meaning. Can you find a more precise term than “good” to describe the movie? Could you be a little more precise about what happened? She is very precise in her work.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Her prose is lovely and precise, reminiscent of Donna Tartt or Edward St. Aubyn. Steph Cha, USA TODAY, "Rosie Price confronts the terrible aftermath of rape in masterful debut 'What Red Was'," 28 Aug. 2019 An atomic clock must be hyper-precise for travel through deep space, where everything is bigger and mistakes quickly can add up. Scottie Andrew, CNN, "NASA launched a Deep Space Atomic Clock that's like a GPS for space," 28 Aug. 2019 Still, the descriptions, no matter how precise, leave something to the imagination. Rich Lowry, National Review, "Baseball on the Radio," 22 Aug. 2019 Lasers have become a popular option for the US military, as well, but that still requires an optical sight and precise targeting. Brian Barrett, WIRED, "The Marines’ New Drone-Killer Aces Its First Real World Test," 22 July 2019 The light head can be rotated and angled for precise positioning. Ap Mcclatchy, The Mercury News, "Angie’s List: Outdoor lighting improves safety and aesthetics," 12 July 2019 Oyarzabal showed some good poise to evade several France players before delivering a precise through ball to Napoli's Fabián Ruiz who played the ball across goal for the on-rushing Dani Olmo to slot in., "UEFA European Under-21 Championship Roundup: Spain & Germany Set Up Final Rematch," 28 June 2019 Investigators searched Doron’s Jemez Drive duplex and found his belongings in neat order, with shoes and clothing arranged with precise spacing. Pauline Repard, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Neuroscientist ordered to trial in bank robbery series," 28 June 2019 Every whisky that goes to market, including the single malts, benefits from precise blending orchestrated by Suntory’s lineage of master and chief blenders. Hannah Lott-schwartz, Fortune, "Inside Japan’s Oldest Whisky Distillery," 16 June 2019

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.

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First Known Use of precise

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for precise

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

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Statistics for precise

Last Updated

7 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for precise

The first known use of precise was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for precise



English Language Learners Definition of precise

: very accurate and exact
used to refer to an exact and particular time, location, etc.
: very careful and exact about the details of something


pre·​cise | \ pri-ˈsīs How to pronounce precise (audio) \

Kids Definition of precise

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.

Other Words from precise

precisely adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on precise

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with precise

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for precise

Spanish Central: Translation of precise

Nglish: Translation of precise for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of precise for Arabic Speakers

Comments on precise

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


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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