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

The orbiter, lander and rover will collectively carry 14 scientific payloads, including a Laser Retroreflector Array from NASA to provide precision measurements of the distance between Earth and the moon. Shekhar Chandra, Scientific American, "What to Expect from India’s Second Moon Mission," 12 July 2019 Such eloquent, chilling precision, along with a vein of brutal humor, helped make this Algren’s most successful novel. Algis Valiunas, National Review, "Nelson Algren: Chicago’s Bard of the Downtrodden," 11 July 2019 The software's precision is highly dependent on a number of factors, including the lighting of a subject's face and the quality of the image, and research has shown that the technology performs less accurately on people with darker skin. al.com, "How the FBI and ICE use driver license photos in investigations without consent," 8 July 2019 The software's precision is highly dependent on a number of factors, including the lighting of a subject's face and the quality of the image, and research has shown that the technology performs less accurately on people with darker skin. Drew Harwell, Anchorage Daily News, "FBI and ICE find state driver’s license photos are a gold mine for facial-recognition searches," 8 July 2019 But that precision comes at a price: a phage that works for one strain of superbug in one patient may not work for another strain. B David Zarley, The Verge, "These superbug-fighting viruses are making a comeback," 5 July 2019 This is an undated photo of the U.S. Navy's Blue Angels precision flying team. Madeleine Joung, Time, "President Trump Has Planned a Controversial Fourth of July 'Salute to America.' Here's What to Know," 2 July 2019 Starting in the 1990s, physicists developed high-precision experiments to study how neutrons — particles found in the nuclei of atoms — break down into protons, a process related to radioactivity. NBC News, "Scientists are searching for a mirror universe. It could be sitting right in front of you.," 30 June 2019 The heart-stopping Miramar Air Show has been drawing crowds since 1953, especially for the precision flying squad of the Blue Angels. Martina Schimitschek, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Mira Mesa: From publisher’s ranch to military housing and ethnic hotspot," 30 June 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

16 Jul 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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