American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adj. Of high cost or worth; valuable.
- adj. Highly esteemed; cherished.
- adj. Dear; beloved.
- adj. Affectedly dainty or overrefined: precious mannerisms.
- adj. Informal Thoroughgoing; unmitigated: a precious mess.
- n. One who is dear or beloved; a darling.
- adv. Used as an intensive: "He had precious little right to complain” ( James Agee).
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Of great price; costly; having a high money-value.
- Of great worth; held in high esteem; intrinsically valuable.
- Worthless; good-for-nothing.
- Considerable; great.
- Particular; scrupulous; fastidious; over-nice.
- Synonyms and Costly, etc. See valuable.
- Very; exceedingly; extremely.
- Affectedly fastidious, especially in the use of words; finically refined in one's literary style or artistic taste.
- Characterized by a strained or affected refinement of style, in literature or art; affectedly fine.
- adj. Of high value or worth, or seemingly regarded as such.
- adj. Regarded with love or tenderness.
- adj. pejorative Treated with too much reverence.
- adj. pejorative Contrived to be cute or charming.
- n. Someone (or something) who is loved; a darling.
- adv. Used as an intensifier.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. Of great price; costly.
- adj. Of great value or worth; very valuable; highly esteemed; dear; beloved.
- adj. Particular; fastidious; overnice; overrefined. Cf. Précieuse, Preciosity.
- adv. extremely.
- adj. characterized by feeling or showing fond affection for
- adj. held in great esteem for admirable qualities especially of an intrinsic nature
- adj. of high worth or cost
- adj. obviously contrived to charm
- From Middle English precious, from Old French precios ("valuable, costly, precious, beloved, also affected, finical"), from Latin pretiosus ("of great value, costly, dear, precious"), from pretium ("value, price"); see price. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English, from Old French precios, from Latin pretiōsus, from pretium, price; see per-5 in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“My precious, _precious_ child," she said, "_He_ is able to save to the”
“I know what they mean, but this is a rare case where I would use the term "precious" as a term of praise.”
“Husky and direct rather than what she calls "precious and demure," she's never been shy about invoking her home country one of her top early songs is called "Hockey Skates".”
“As for the future, Earle and Buckland hope to keep their company growing while staying true to what they call their precious recipe.”
“We are very far from understanding all the secret resources of nature; but I do not think the spontaneous formation of the crystals, which we call precious stones, one of the most difficult phenomena to comprehend.”
“B.C.'s Auditor-General says the provincial government isn't doing enough to monitor and protect groundwater, which he calls a precious resource.”
“I will leave my—shit, is that what you called my precious weapons and clothes?”
“If you create a space for your child to express themselves this will promote an open communication channel and you will gain precious insight into where they are at.”
“Pull your heads out. $42 million in precious urban renewal funds in a pile, pour gasoline on it and light it up that is what is going down here.”
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