precocious was our Word of the Day on 09/02/2008. Hear the podcast!
Examples of precocious in a Sentence
But what has paleontologists agog is this googol-granddaddy's precocious attributes: most notably the relative flatness of its face, which is more modern-looking than skulls half its age. —Fred Guterl, Newsweek, 22 July 2002
As a boy, I had caught eight-inch-long, juvenile “snapper” blues in Barnegat Bay and marveled at the uncommon strength and speed and the precocious attack instinct within their slender, silver bodies. —Pete Bodo, New York Times, 8 July 2001
… Columbus was still sailing the ocean blue and American English, frisky and rambunctious as a precocious child, was as yet unborn. —Sarah Lyall, New York Times, 10 Apr. 2000
… no longer certain that my blackness gave me precocious wisdom, or that I could outslick these folks … —Lorene Cary, Black Ice, 1991
She was a precocious child who could read before she went to school.
A precocious musician, he was giving concerts when he was seven.
Recent Examples of precocious from the Web
The praise, however, is typically reserved for a precocious rookie or breakout prospect entering his sophomore season.
A precocious tot who plays with matches gets burned … to death.
Interactive, or puzzle, toys are an outlet for these precocious pets.
All indicate a precocious talent for drawing, a clear interest in depicting qualities of light, and — perhaps not surprisingly — a very strong attention to line.
Now the Pacific All-Star team will see the precocious defenseman join the unshakable forward.
Mr. Hentoff displayed a precocious interest in journalism.
The precocious Ms. Della Femina was a fashion upstart who that summer ran a trunk show with a friend, who had diabetes, to raise money for research.
Her feelings for Barry are genuine, but her understanding of race is precocious.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'precocious'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Precocious got started in Latin when the prefix prae-, meaning "ahead of," was combined with the verb coquere, meaning "to cook" or "to ripen," to form the adjective "praecox," which means "early ripening" or "premature." By 1650, English speakers had turned "praecox" into "precocious" and were using it especially of plants that produced blossoms before their leaves came out. By the 1670s, "precocious" was also being used to describe humans who developed skills or talents before others typically did.
Origin and Etymology of precocious
Latin praecoc-, praecox early ripening, precocious, from prae- + coquere to cook — more at cook
First Known Use: 1650
PRECOCIOUS Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of precocious for English Language Learners
of a child : having or showing the qualities or abilities of an adult at an unusually early age
PRECOCIOUS Defined for Kids
Definition of precocious for Students
: showing qualities or abilities of an adult at an unusually early age
precociouslyadverb precociously talented
Medical Definition of precocious
1: exceptionally early in development or occurrence precocious puberty
2: exhibiting mature qualities at an unusually early age
Seen and Heard
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