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

Despite his vast daily intake of beer, Ricketts worked long hours in the lab with great precision, wrote extensively, and devoured scientific monographs and other challenging books. Smithsonian, "John Steinbeck’s Epic Ocean Voyage Rewrote the Rules of Ecology," 22 Aug. 2019 Her fixes, according to the workers, were punishments doled out with tiered precision: dish duty for first-time offenders, a school transfer for repeat offenders. Sarah Schweitzer, The Atlantic, "The Lunch Ladies of New Canaan," 15 Aug. 2019 That’s why there’s such an emphasis on precision, tempo and effort. Mike Jones, USA TODAY, "For Patriots' young receivers, pressure is on to step up for Tom Brady," 14 Aug. 2019 Two days removed from an off day — at least by her impossibly high standards — Biles responded with four sublime rotations that showcased the mix of technical precision, audacious ambition and charismatic showmanship that have become her trademark. Author: Will Graves, Anchorage Daily News, "6 pack; Biles soars to 6th US gymnastics title," 12 Aug. 2019 Two days removed from an off day — at least by her impossibly high standards — Biles responded with four sublime rotations that showcased the mix of technical precision, audacious ambition and charismatic showmanship that have become her trademark. Will Graves, courant.com, "Simone Biles soars to 6th US gymnastics title," 12 Aug. 2019 Lampard's preferred tactic requires his full-backs to attack with speed and precision, and Azpilicueta doesn't offer either anymore. SI.com, "Reece James: Frank Lampard's Name-Dropping of Starlet After Man Utd Defeat Is Reason for Positivity," 12 Aug. 2019 Two days removed from an off day — at least by her impossibly high standards — Biles responded with four sublime rotations that showcased the mix of technical precision, audacious ambition and charismatic showmanship that have become her trademark. Will Graves, Twin Cities, "Minnesotans Sunisa Lee, Grace McCallum finish 2-3 in U.S. Gymnastics Championships," 12 Aug. 2019 Two days removed from an off day — at least by her impossibly high standards — Biles responded with four sublime rotations that showcased the mix of technical precision, audacious ambition and charismatic showmanship that have become her trademark. Will Graves, baltimoresun.com, "With unprecedented 'triple-double,’ Simone Biles soars to sixth U.S. women’s gymnastics title," 12 Aug. 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

27 Aug 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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