from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- adj. Dangerously lacking in security or stability: a precarious posture; precarious footing on the ladder.
- adj. Subject to chance or unknown conditions: "His kingdom was still precarious; the Danes far from subdued” ( Christopher Brooke).
- adj. Based on uncertain, unwarranted, or unproved premises: a precarious solution to a difficult problem.
- adj. Archaic Dependent on the will or favor of another.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- adj. dangerously insecure or unstable; perilous
- adj. depending on the intention of another
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adj. Depending on the will or pleasure of another; held by courtesy; liable to be changed or lost at the pleasure of another.
- adj. Held by a doubtful tenure; depending on unknown causes or events; exposed to constant risk; not to be depended on for certainty or stability; uncertain
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Dependent on the will or pleasure of another; liable to be lost or withdrawn at the will of another; hence, uncertain; insecure.
- Specifically, in law, of uncertain tenure; revocable at the will of the owner or creator: as, a precarious right or loan.
- Dependent only upon the will of the owner or originator; hence, arbitrary; unfounded.
- Dependent upon chance; of doubtful issue; uncertain as to result.
- Hence Dangerous; hazardous; exposed to positive peril, risk of misunderstanding, or other hazard.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- adj. affording no ease or reassurance
- adj. not secure; beset with difficulties
- adj. fraught with danger
She could not consent, she said, to dim the prosperities of his career by a union with her future, which she characterized as a precarious thing, a thing for making burdens out of -- but not for his carrying.
"The quality of jobs changed dramatically in the way that we have what we call 'precarious employment' in Germany," he says.
And Jennifer Klein, professor of history at Yale University, adds that women often work in "precarious" jobs with irregular hours and low benefits.
I am quite sure this is the case in precarious areas of newspaper journalism – like the literary review pages!
It cannot see how precarious is its position, cannot comprehend the power and the portent of the revolution.
Dr. THIEREN: The conditions are (unintelligible) of about a million, a million and a half (unintelligible) population in precarious conditions.
To the former, the premise of the message was that the US is in precarious times, and without concerted action and “hard [adult] choices,” we may not bequeath the gift of freedom to future generations.
Yet their ability to build huge nests in precarious positions never fails to surprise.
The reality you guys are failing to grasp is that it's not th eliberal Dems who are in precarious positions with their re-elections right now ... it's the Blue Dogs ... and that's what's driving their opposition.
Despite all these varied activities, when he died on 4 October 1847 he left his large family in precarious financial circumstances.