Definitions

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of high value or worth, or seemingly regarded as such.
  • adj. Regarded with love or tenderness.
  • adj. Treated with too much reverence.
  • adj. Contrived to be cute or charming.
  • n. Someone (or something) who is loved; a darling.
  • adv. Used as an intensifier.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • 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.

from The 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.

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

  • 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

Etymologies

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

Middle English, from Old French precios, from Latin pretiōsus, from pretium, price; see per-5 in Indo-European roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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.

Examples

Comments

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  • Gollum used this word when referring to The Ring.

    September 5, 2012

  • As a name, this wasn't so bad until Lord of the Rings. Poor girl.

    February 12, 2007