precision

noun
pre·​ci·​sion | \ pri-ˈsi-zhən How to pronounce precision (audio) \

Definition of precision

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the quality or state of being precise : exactness
2a : the degree of refinement with which an operation is performed or a measurement stated — compare accuracy sense 2b
b : the accuracy (as in binary or decimal places) with which a number can be represented usually expressed in terms of the number of computer words available for representation double precision arithmetic permits the representation of an expression by two computer words

precision

adjective

Definition of precision (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : adapted for extremely accurate measurement or operation
2 : held to low tolerance in manufacture
3 : marked by precision of execution

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Other Words from precision

Noun

precisionist \ pri-​ˈsi-​zhə-​nist How to pronounce precision (audio) , -​ˈsizh-​nist \ noun

Did You Know?

Many of us often use precision and accuracy as synonyms, but not scientists and engineers. For them, accuracy describes a particular measurement—that is, how close it is to the truth. But precision describes a measurement system—that is, how good it is at giving the same result every time it measures the same thing. This may be why even nonscientists now often speak of "precision instruments" for measuring, "precision landings" made by airplanes, "precision drilling" for natural gas, and so on.

Examples of precision in a Sentence

Noun I admire the precision of her work. the company that measures TV ratings prides itself on the precision of its calculations Adjective The airplane made a precision approach for landing.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Mott will produce high-precision gas and liquid filtration systems for a refinery for Pemex, the Mexican petroleum giant. Don Stacom, courant.com, "Coronavirus safety measures helped a Farmington manufacturer win a $10M international contract," 18 Dec. 2020 The whole setup, which probably occupies an area of about 1.5m x 2.5m, has to be carefully stabilized to high precision (about 10nm). Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Quantum device performs 2.6 billion years of computation in 4 minutes," 7 Dec. 2020 The most recent effort to monitor sea level rise follows the 2016 launch of the U.S.-European satellite, Jason-3, which is currently providing high-precision and timely observations of the topography of the global ocean, according to NASA. Grace Hauck, USA TODAY, "NASA launching satellite to monitor sea level rise, affects of climate change over next decade," 21 Nov. 2020 Brees executea a two-minute scoring drive with surgical precision to take control of a game just before halftime. Jeff Nowak, NOLA.com, "Inside Drew Brees painful TD drive: Here's what Saints QB did after rib, lung injuries," 17 Nov. 2020 The company has developed a modular production line where every piece of equipment—plus high-precision power tools—is connected via 5G. Will Knight, Wired, "These Factory Robots May Point the Way to 5G’s Future," 5 Nov. 2020 Though the effect is far too small to be noticeable to humans, this idea of quantum time dilation could have repercussions for high-precision quantum clocks. Jonathan O'callaghan, Scientific American, "Quantum Time Twist Offers a Way to Create Schrödinger’s Clock," 23 Oct. 2020 Armenia has several high-precision Iskander surface-to-surface missile systems supplied by Russia. Fox News, "Nagorno-Karabakh fighting raises threat of deadly escalation," 14 Oct. 2020 To conduct that experiment, astronomers needed to know the star’s orbit to a high precision, which in turn required decades of observations with the most powerful telescopes on Earth. New York Times, "Nobel Prize in Physics Awarded to 3 Scientists for Work on Black Holes," 6 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The invention challenge drew numerous tinkerers with no experience making precision medical devices for use on the critically ill. Washington Post, "Britain mounted a heroic effort to build ventilators. But it never needed them.," 14 Aug. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'precision.' 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 precision

Noun

1698, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1875, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for precision

Time Traveler

The first known use of precision was in 1698

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Statistics for precision

Last Updated

21 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Precision.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/precision. Accessed 25 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for precision

precision

noun
How to pronounce precision (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of precision

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the quality of being precise : exactness or accuracy

precision

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of precision (Entry 2 of 2)

: designed for very accurate measurement or operation
: done in a very careful and exact way

precision

noun
pre·​ci·​sion | \ pri-ˈsi-zhən How to pronounce precision (audio) \

Kids Definition of precision

: the quality or state of being precise or exact : accuracy The lines were drawn with great precision.

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Comments on precision

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