Definitions

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

  • noun An overhanging or extremely steep mass of rock, such as a crag or the face of a cliff.
  • noun The brink of a dangerous or disastrous situation.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A headlong fall; an abrupt descent.
  • noun A bank or cliff extremely steep, or even perpendicular or overhanging; a headlong declivity.
  • noun The brink of a steep declivity; hence, a dangerous place; a critical position; a perilous location.

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

  • noun obsolete A sudden or headlong fall.
  • noun A headlong steep; a very steep, perpendicular, or overhanging place; an abrupt declivity; a cliff.

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

  • noun A very steep cliff.
  • noun The brink of a dangerous situation.
  • noun obsolete A headlong fall or descent.

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

  • noun a very steep cliff

Etymologies

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

[French précipice, from Latin praecipitium, from praeceps, praecipit-, headlong; see precipitate.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

First attested in 1598, from Latin *praecipitium ("a steep place"), from praeceps ("steep"), from prae + caput ("head"). First meaning of the noun is recorded from 1632.

Examples

  • So, yes, do I continue to oppose it and I do think the term precipice was a good choice of words, John.

    CNN Transcript Dec 15, 2009

  • The sound of a stone thrown over the precipice is heard for several li.

    Fir-Flower Tablets: Poems Translated From the Chinese

  • The word precipice is defined as a very steep, overhanging place or a hazardous situation.

    News for Opelika-Auburn News

  • The word precipice is defined as a very steep, overhanging place or a hazardous situation.

    News for Opelika-Auburn News

  • The word precipice is defined as a very steep, overhanging place or a hazardous situation.

    News for Opelika-Auburn News

  • That was precisely what happened in the U.K. at the start of the last decade, with marketing literature on what came to be known as "precipice bonds" underemphasizing the three-for-one losses on some plans, and resulting in millions of pounds of redress being ordered by the Financial Services Authority.

    The Structured Promise

  • In reality, the conferees knew the only country that had an industrial base capable of pulling the world back from the precipice was the United States.

    Vince Farrell: Bretton Woods II

  • On this account I will call the precipice the Cliff without a

    A Pair of Blue Eyes

  • Acknowledging the fact that we are waltzing along a precipice is the first move in taking steps away from the edge.

    Why so much about Peak Oil?

  • To Holly, it looked as if the precipice was a straight fall, without so much as an angle to cushion the horse beneath them.

    SEASONS OF GOLD

Comments

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  • head first??

    April 24, 2007