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



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

Other Words from precision


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.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Metal rings around the infotainment and climate controls that turn with precision also help give this Mazda a sense above its price range. Ryan White, Car and Driver, 18 May 2022 It’s the kind of self-aware shtick that’s perfectly suited to an in-ring veteran of more than 30 years who’s known for constantly reinventing himself, and pokes at the tribalism between fans of the two companies with surgical precision. Anthony Bartkiewicz, SPIN, 13 May 2022 To deliver on these three areas, a digital accessibility program has to be crafted with care and executed with precision. Eamon Mcerlean, Forbes, 6 May 2022 To simulate a more realistic environment, Riffell’s team built a seven-foot-long mosquito wind tunnel that could control wind speed, odors and visual stimuli with exquisite precision. Niko Mccarty, Scientific American, 26 Apr. 2022 James Farncombe’s lighting made the set’s innumerable details pop, and evoked mood and time with clinical precision. Heidi Waleson, WSJ, 25 Apr. 2022 The White Glove chorus, as the miserably incarcerated and then thrillingly liberated prisoners, moved to music with near precision. Los Angeles Times, 17 Apr. 2022 Others have used video with even greater precision. New York Times, 17 Apr. 2022 Jumping spiders have the sharpest vision of their spidey cousins and use this advantage to stalk their prey with precision, reported Betsy Mason for Science News in October 2021. Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, 12 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Tracking foot traffic and transaction volume data — a pillar of any precision retail program — helps stores avoid over- and understaffing, ensuring associates are always on hand to help customers in need. Bjoern Petersen, Forbes, 14 Mar. 2022 And the composite in the aluminum-composite rear axle links was flexible enough to give the rear axle a disturbing springy, non-precision feel in some dynamic situations. Gary Witzenburg, Car and Driver, 7 July 2021 His Merrill Lynch account contains shares of companies like Sarepta Therapeutics, a maker of precision genetic medicines that treat rare neuromuscular and central nervous system diseases. New York Times, 20 Mar. 2021 But after decades of offshoring, finding U.S. manufacturing facilities capable of producing precision medical devices isn't easy. David Z. Morris, Fortune, 21 Feb. 2021 The invention challenge drew numerous tinkerers with no experience making precision medical devices for use on the critically ill. Washington Post, 14 Aug. 2020 See More

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.

First Known Use of precision


1698, in the meaning defined at sense 1


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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Dictionary Entries Near precision



precision block

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Last Updated

21 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Precision.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for precision


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on precision

Nglish: Translation of precision for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of precision for Arabic Speakers


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