Thesaurus

precipitous

adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms of precipitous

2 having an incline approaching the perpendicular
  • a precipitous ski slope that fully merits its triple diamond designation

Synonyms for precipitous

Words Related to precipitous

Near Antonyms for precipitous

Antonyms for precipitous

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About precipitous

How is the word precipitous different from other adjectives like it?

Some common synonyms of precipitous are abrupt, sheer, and steep. While all these words mean "having an incline approaching the perpendicular," precipitous applies to an incline approaching the vertical.

the river winds through a precipitous gorge

When might abrupt be a better fit than precipitous?

The meanings of abrupt and precipitous largely overlap; however, abrupt implies a sharper pitch and a sudden break in the level.

a beach with an abrupt drop-off

When is sheer a more appropriate choice than precipitous?

In some situations, the words sheer and precipitous are roughly equivalent. However, sheer suggests an unbroken perpendicular expanse.

sheer cliffs that daunted the climbers

When would steep be a good substitute for precipitous?

The synonyms steep and precipitous are sometimes interchangeable, but steep implies such sharpness of pitch that ascent or descent is very difficult.

a steep hill

a steep dive

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about precipitous

Time Traveler for precipitous

Time Traveler

The first known use of precipitous was in 1612

See more words from the same year

Cite this Entry

“Precipitous.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/precipitous. Accessed 1 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on precipitous

Dictionary: Definition of precipitous

Nglish: Translation of precipitous for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of precipitous for Arabic Speakers

Comments on precipitous

What made you want to look up precipitous? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

February 2021 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of perdure?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!