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Webster 1913 Edition


Precious

Pre′cious

,
Adj.
[OF.
precious
,
precius
,
precios
, F.
précieux
, L.
pretiosus
, fr.
pretium
price, worth, value. See
Price
.]
1.
Of great price; costly;
as, a
precious
stone
.
“The precious bane.”
Milton.
2.
Of great value or worth; very valuable; highly esteemed; dear; beloved;
as,
precious
recollections
.
She is more
precious
than rules.
Prov. iii. 15.
Many things which are most
precious
are neglected only because the value of them lieth hid.
Hooker.
Also used ironically; as, a precious rascal.
3.
Particular; fastidious; overnice; overrefined. Cf.
Précieuse
,
Preciosity
.
Lest that
precious
folk be with me wroth.
Chaucer.
Precious metals
,
the uncommon and highly valuable metals, esp. gold and silver.
Precious stones
,
gems; jewels.

Webster 1828 Edition


Precious

PRE'CIOUS

,
Adj.
[L. pretiosus, from pretium, price. See Praise.]
1.
Of great price; costly; as a precious stone.
2.
Of great value or worth; very valuable.
She is more precious than rubies. Prov.3.
3.
Highly valued; much esteemed.
The word of the Lord was precious in those days; there was no open vision. 1 Sam.3.
4.
Worthless; in irony and contempt.
Precious metals, gold and silver, so called on account of their value.

Definition 2022


Precious

Precious

See also: precious

English

Proper noun

Precious

  1. A surname, originating as a male or female nickname.
  2. A female given name.
    • 2009 Alexander McCall Smith, Tea Time for the Traditionally Built, Abacus (2010), ISBN 9780349119977, page 6:
      She and Mma Ramotswe were fortunate, with their reasonably straightforward names of Grace and Precious respectively; she had contemporaries who were not so fortunate and had been saddled by their parents with names that were frankly ridiculous.

precious

precious

See also: Precious

English

Alternative forms

Adjective

precious (comparative more precious, superlative most precious)

  1. Of high value or worth, or seemingly regarded as such.
    • 2013 August 16, Polly Toynbee, Britain's booming birthrate”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 10, page 21:
      People are a good thing, the most precious resource in a rich economy, so the progressive-minded feel. Only misanthropists disagree or the dottier Malthusians who send green-ink tweets deploring any state assistance for child-rearing.
    The crown had many precious gemstones.   This building work needs site access, and tell the city council that I don't care about a few lorry tyre ruts across their precious grass verge.
  2. Regarded with love or tenderness.
    My precious daughter is to marry.
  3. (pejorative) Treated with too much reverence.
    He spent hours painting the eyes of the portrait, which his fellow artists regarded as a bit precious.
  4. (pejorative) Contrived to be cute or charming.
    • 2012 May 24, Nathan Rabin, Film: Reviews: Men In Black 3”, in The Onion AV Club:
      In the abstract, Stuhlbarg’s twinkly-eyed sidekick suggests Joe Pesci in Lethal Weapon 2 by way of late-period Robin Williams with an alien twist, but Stuhlbarg makes a character that easily could have come across as precious into a surprisingly palatable, even charming man.

Synonyms

Related terms

Translations

Noun

precious (plural preciouses)

  1. Someone (or something) who is loved; a darling.
    • J. R. R. Tolkien, The Hobbit
      “It isn't fair, my precious, is it, to ask us what it's got in its nassty little pocketses?”
    • 1909, Mrs. Teignmouth Shore, The Pride of the Graftons (page 57)
      She sat down with the dogs in her lap. "I won't neglect you for any one, will I, my preciouses?"

Adverb

precious (not comparable)

  1. Very; an intensifier.
    There is precious little we can do.
    precious few pictures of him exist

Translations