American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adj. Resembling a precipice; extremely steep. See Synonyms at steep1.
- adj. Having several precipices: a precipitous bluff.
- adj. Usage Problem Extremely rapid, hasty, or abrupt; precipitate: "The change has included a precipitous collapse of Communist authority” ( New York Times). See Usage Note at precipitate.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Headlong; descending rapidly, or rushing onward.
- Steep; like a precipice; consisting of precipices: as, precipitous cliffs.
- Hasty; rash; precipitate.
- Hastily appearing or passing; sudden.
- Synonyms and See. precipitate, a.
- adj. Steep, like a precipice; as, a precipitous cliff or mountain.
- adj. Headlong; as, precipitous fall.
- adj. Hasty; rash; quick; sudden; precipitate; as, precipitous attempts.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. done with very great haste and without due deliberation
- adj. extremely steep
- Probably from obsolete precipitious, from Latin praecipitium, precipice; see precipice. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“When I left the family home in a blaze of anger and anxiety, I took what I call precipitous action.”
“BASH: The problem, though, for Democrats is that Republicans, even those who have come out -- and pretty harsh words -- said that the president's policy is not working, they are also saying that they do not feel comfortable in voting with Democrats on what they call precipitous withdrawal from Iraq.”
“That's the major question at this point that is still unanswered, these growing ranks of Republicans who are breaking with the president's Iraq strategy, but maybe they aren't walking right in line with Democrats and what they call a precipitous withdrawal.”
“MCINTYRE: Gates says whatever happens in September, it won't lead to what he calls a precipitous decision.”
“MCINTYRE (on camera): Gates says whatever happens in September, it will not lead to what he calls a precipitous decision.”
“LEVS: Well, when you're having a kid no one ever tells about this obscure thing called precipitous labor that we had never heard out.”
“Nothing precipitous, that is a straw man from a desperate”
“In the debate on Iraq, when critics of the war advocated for a timetable for withdrawal, we were told that a "precipitous" withdrawal would be a disaster.”
“This kind of precipitous free-fall, among the very safest tranches within this type of AAA-rated securities, was unprecedented.”
“(It's worth adding that, as in the Vietnam era so many decades ago, mainstream critics of antiwar critics continue to regularly suggest that any kind of "precipitous" withdrawal of American troops would almost certainly result in a genocidal slaughter, even as such a slaughter has taken place with the troops there.)”
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