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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from precision

Noun

precisionist \ pri-​ˈsi-​zhə-​nist How to pronounce precisionist (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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

As Buzzfeed reports, the brand is launching an update to their iconic felt-tip liner (which is known for living up to its name and genuinely staying all day), featuring a teeny, tiny, micro-tip to give you surgeon-like precision during application. Zoë Weiner, Teen Vogue, "Stila Cosmetics Launches Stay All Day Micro Tip Liquid Eyeliner," 14 May 2018 The effect played out with such surgical precision that the inconsistencies between expectations and experience took a moment to register. Longreads, "The Quest for the Collision Zone: An Arctic Expedition," 12 Mar. 2018 Even though the platform is free to use, paid advertising on Facebook can be beneficial because the network lets businesses target customers with surgical precision. Patrick Cooley, cleveland.com, "How social media is changing the game for Cleveland's bars and restaurants," 8 Feb. 2018 Models walked beside a graffitied monolith, evoking a cross between a snowboarding bowl and a skate park, clad in layer upon layer of jackets (that were in fact one piece) and 3D molded blazers of razor precision. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Balenciaga’s New Book Is Unlike Anything You’ve Seen Before," 5 Nov. 2018 For that audience, SNL used its Kavanaugh cold open to once again skewer someone in the news with its typical brand of over-obvious precision. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "So it’s come to this: a defense of SNL’s over-obvious sendup of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh," 3 Oct. 2018 Producing her vision is a task of almost surgical precision. Rebecca Powers, chicagotribune.com, "A German baker has taken pie art to a mesmerizing new level," 19 June 2018 That added precision, police say, makes indiscriminate stop-and-frisks less likely, and builds upon the second piece: improving the department's fractured relationship with the public. Jon Schuppe And Andrew Blankstein /, NBC News, "Chicago's gun-torn South Side sees reason for hope as shootings drop," 9 May 2018 In his latest book, the prolific Simon Winchester explores the idea and practice of precision, the concept undergirding everything from a factory’s assembly line to the scientist’s measurement of time and space. Kate Tuttle, BostonGlobe.com, "A fan of perfection that’s not too perfect," 2 May 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of precision

Noun

1698, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1875, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about precision

Share precision

Statistics for precision

Last Updated

12 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for precision

The first known use of precision was in 1698

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for precision

precision

noun

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.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on precision

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

WORD OF THE DAY

grandiloquent, ostentatious, or bombastic

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!