from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Of high cost or worth; valuable.
  • adjective Highly esteemed; cherished.
  • adjective Dear; beloved.
  • adjective Affectedly dainty or overrefined.
  • adjective Informal Thoroughgoing; unmitigated.
  • noun One who is dear or beloved; a darling.
  • adverb Used as an intensive.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • 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 the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Of great price; costly.
  • adjective Of great value or worth; very valuable; highly esteemed; dear; beloved.
  • adjective Particular; fastidious; overnice; overrefined. Cf. Précieuse, Preciosity.
  • adjective the uncommon and highly valuable metals, esp. gold and silver.
  • adjective gems; jewels.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

  • adverb extremely
  • adjective characterized by feeling or showing fond affection for
  • adjective held in great esteem for admirable qualities especially of an intrinsic nature
  • adjective of high worth or cost
  • adjective obviously contrived to charm


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- 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.


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

    February 12, 2007

  • Gollum used this word when referring to The Ring.

    September 5, 2012