Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The state or quality of being precise; exactness.
  • n. The ability of a measurement to be consistently reproduced.
  • n. The number of significant digits to which a value has been reliably measured.
  • adj. Used or intended for accurate or exact measurement: a precision tool.
  • adj. Made so as to vary minimally from a set standard: precision components.
  • adj. Of or characterized by accurate action: precision bombing.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. the state of being precise or exact; exactness
  • n. the ability of a measurement to be reproduced consistently
  • n. the number of significant digits to which a value may be measured reliably
  • adj. used for exact or precise measurement
  • adj. made, or characterized by accuracy

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The quality or state of being precise; exact limitation; exactness; accuracy; strict conformity to a rule or a standard; definiteness.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The quality or state of being precise, exact, or definite as to form or meaning; distinctness; accuracy.
  • n. In logic: Freedom from inessential elements.
  • n. The separation from anything of extrinsic elements.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the quality of being reproducible in amount or performance

Etymologies

Latin praecīsiō, praecīsiōn-, a cutting off, from praecīsus, past participle of praecīdere, to cut off; see precise.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle French precision. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Using Attributional Similarity to Solve Analogies  number of correct guesses precision = total number of guesses made  number of correct guesses recall = maximum possible number correct 2 x precision x recall  F = precision recall

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  • The term precision is considered as a component of accuracy, related to the scale, resolution, and also to the generalization of datasets.

    Recently Uploaded Slideshows

  • Details very sketchy at this hour but U.S. officials confirming overnight there was what they call a precision missile strike against a target in southern Somalia near the border with Kenya, a target that they say was in an area where there were known terrorists, al Qaeda terrorists with affiliations.

    CNN Transcript Mar 3, 2008

  • Now, earlier today, the U.S. military launched what it calls a precision air strike.

    CNN Transcript Sep 25, 2004

  • The 53-second clip provides a rare look at how the U.S. uses what it calls precision air strikes in urban areas to support ground operations.

    CNN Transcript Oct 11, 2004

  • If you remember in the Gulf War, about 10 percent of our munitions were what we call precision-guided munitions; in Operations Allied Force about 90 percent of our munitions were guided munitions.

    CNN Transcript Oct 8, 2001

  • The cost to produce the bug, which he characterized as precision handwork within the knowledge and competence of a handful of men, he estimated at $30,000 per unit.

    Will

  • AlCuMet makes what it calls precision castings out of aluminum and other alloys for the military, aerospace and other industries.

    WCAX - Local News

  • Our new foreign policy is what I call precision power.

    The Full Feed from HuffingtonPost.com

  • We've seen a dramatic increase in precision guided weapons, air power over raw infantry (remember Kosovo was fought almost by nothing other than NATO air power), intelligence gathering (remember right wingers attacked Clinton throughout the 90's for supposedly trying to infringe on civil liberties ... some like Phil Gramm & George Bush even accused Clinton of racial profiling of Arabs & Chinese).

    Did the Bush Tax Cut Fail?, Arnold Kling | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty

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Comments

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  • Here's an example of precision for you:

    Consider telescope mirrors:

    "Both mirrors for telescopes on the 'big island' of Hawaii are light-years beyond everyday concepts of precision. Ground and polished for four years...the Subaru mirror surface has been smoothed to within about half a millionth of an inch. The surface of Gemini...is precise to within a thousandth of the diameter of a human hair. To make such perfection easier to imagine, if the Big Island could be leveled and polished as evenly (in proportion) as the Subaru mirror, the biggest bump would be no higher than the thickness of two sheets of paper. If the entire earth could be smoothed to the same accuracy as Gemini, the tallest hill would be less than a foot high."

    --Howard Daniel, Pen4Rent

    August 29, 2007