precision

noun
pre·​ci·​sion | \pri-ˈsi-zhən \

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, -​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

This fusion makes trips by turns serendipitous and preplanned, a blend of anything-goes adventure and the clock-watching precision of a big-ship cruise. Paul Brady, Condé Nast Traveler, "Want Serious Bragging Rights? Do a Road Trip Across Borneo," 16 Nov. 2018 Check out how the purple is blended out with an orange, which is then blended out with the yellow — and the precision. Tynan Sinks, Allure, "The Primer Hack That Makes Your Eye Shadow as Pigmented as It Looks in the Pan," 31 Oct. 2018 Using a special needle similar to a crochet hook, these masters meticulously attach each rhinestone, sequin, and appliqué with the precision of Georges Seurat. Erik Maza, Town & Country, "The Haute Couture Details That Go Into Pronovias Wedding Gowns," 10 Oct. 2018 The confidence might be there, but the precision is still progressing. Charlie Hatch, Cincinnati.com, "Russell Cicerone's surge into the FC Cincinnati starting lineup isn't going unnoticed," 16 June 2018 At first the mouse’s precision was poor and software hadn’t yet figured out how to smartly utilize the new technology. Rani Molla, Recode, "Voice tech like Alexa and Siri hasn’t found its true calling yet: Inside the voice assistant ‘revolution’," 12 Nov. 2018 With jamming, absolute precision is impossible, but the robot strives for it nonetheless. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Watch a robot build columns out of only gravel and string," 15 Oct. 2018 The popular high-precision Logitech MX Master wireless mouse, with an ergonomic design and the ability to swap between computers at the flick of a button, is also available on a steep sale at $60. Alexandria Haslam, PCWorld, "Upgrade your keyboard, mouse, and webcam for cheap in Amazon's Logitech blowout sale," 26 Sep. 2018 Past warfare was described primarily by tonnage and throw weights, because precision was almost nonexistent. Andy Kessler, WSJ, "Google’s Anti-Pentagon Decision Will Kill More People," 29 July 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.

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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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Statistics for precision

Last Updated

3 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for precision

The first known use of precision was in 1698

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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 \

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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