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

The sale includes precision guided munitions, other bombs and ammunition and aircraft maintenance support. CBS News, "Senators hope to force vote on arms sales to Saudi Arabia," 9 June 2019 These days, said Chief Lopez, gunner's mates maintain systems that load and fire automatically – with greater precision and speed. oregonlive.com, "Monroe: Sailors hit Willamette River to battle sturgeon with Fleet Week in full swing," 8 June 2019 Crispr-Cas9, the tool introduced in 2012 that was used to engineer the human babies, is cheaper than older techniques and enables scientists to add, delete and rearrange DNA with greater precision. Lucy Craymer, WSJ, "Big Tongues and Extra Vertebrae: The Unintended Consequences of Animal Gene Editing," 14 Dec. 2018 Quiet-eye instruction can significantly increase precision; in one of Vickers’s studies, a basketball team’s free-throw accuracy increased by 22 percent after training. Malia Wollan, New York Times, "How to Make More Free Throws," 13 June 2018 Combining the two helped marketers target ads to Facebook users with even greater precision. Jessica Guynn, USA TODAY, "Facebook limits ad targeting after Cambridge Analytica data leak," 29 Mar. 2018 The real boon for fire escapes arrived in 1901, when a new set of regulations, passed with that year’s revision to the Tenement House Act, defined the structure with greater precision. Pippa Biddle, The Atlantic, "Fire Escapes Are Evocative, But Mostly Useless," 25 Feb. 2018 In a tiny space, chef Monta Rozenburga creates vegan favorites with pluck and precision worth taking to go for a picnic. Elizabeth Wellington, Vogue, "Plan a Summer Stay in Salesas, Madrid’s Smallest Neighborhood," 25 May 2019 The service concluded with a three-gun salute and presentation of the flag, folded with precision by honor guard members, to LeValley’s widow, Denise LeValley. Jennifer Brett, ajc, "FBI director Christopher Wray speaks at agent’s funeral in North Fulton," 2 June 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

Statistics for precision

Last Updated

18 Jun 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

showing courage and determination

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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!