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 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 The current system's lack of precision in targeting was particularly worrisome during Hurricane Harvey, said Francisco Sanchez, Harris County's deputy emergency management coordinator. Robert Downen, Houston Chronicle, "FCC to vote Tuesday on targeted alerts sought by Harris County, others in wake of natural disasters," 30 Jan. 2018 Telecommunications, precision agriculture, financial markets, transportation, logistics—core components of America’s $20 trillion economy depend on technology based in outer space. Patrick M. Shanahan, WSJ, "It’s Time to Create an American Space Force," 30 Apr. 2019 Her formulas incorporate the latest cosmetic technologies and are crafted with precision and care. Teen Vogue, "Pat McGrath Lab’s Releases 17 New Bold Eyeshadows," 28 Mar. 2019 Shooting a moving target, my father taught me, required anticipation, and his muscular pursuit of the clay birds soaring toward the creek possessed a precision and grace that awed me. Liz Arnold, Longreads, "Making Peace with the Site of a Suicide," 11 July 2018 Their love of precision and order would come in handy. Andy Staples, SI.com, "‘Strategic Entertainment’ vs. Entertaining Entertainment: The Flip Side of the NFL-CFB Debate," 11 July 2018 Geri nails the moves with crisp precision, and looks shocked and delighted, both at the choreographer and person shooting the video. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Geri Horner Dances to an Iconic Spice Girls Track in This Sneak Peek," 9 Apr. 2019

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

4 Jun 2019

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 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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