- of high price or great value; very valuable or costly: precious metals.
- highly esteemed for some spiritual, nonmaterial, or moral quality: precious memories.
- dear; beloved: a precious child.
- affectedly or excessively delicate, refined, or nice: precious manners.
- flagrant; gross: a precious fool.
- a dearly beloved person; darling.
- extremely; very: She wastes precious little time.
Origin of precious
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for precious
Being there teaches you to think quickly, edit yourself, and not get too precious about your own work.Coffee Talk with Fred Armisen: On ‘Portlandia,’ Meeting Obama, and Taylor Swift’s Greatness
January 7, 2015
From a lyrical standpoint, there are precious few that can catch Kendrick.The 14 Best Songs of 2014: Bobby Shmurda, Future Islands, Drake, and More
December 31, 2014
Second, they threaten one of the most precious resources in our state: public education that is open to all children.Hunger Games Comes to New York State’s Public Schools
November 26, 2014
The precious cargo: two American humanitarian workers with Ebola.The American Ebola Rescue Plan Hinges on One Company. Meet Phoenix.
November 22, 2014
There are precious few large-scale, ambitious, original works.Christopher Nolan Uncut: On ‘Interstellar,’ Ben Affleck’s Batman, and the Future of Mankind
November 10, 2014
More than one of these precious volumes were transcribed entirely by her own hand.Philothea
Lydia Maria Child
They filled two bottles they had remaining with the precious fluid.Brave and Bold
Each moment in history is a fleeting time, precious and unique.
It is wrong to waste the precious gift of time, on acrimony and division.
Fellow citizens, we must not waste the precious gift of this time.
- beloved; dear; cherished
- very costly or valuable
- held in high esteem, esp in moral or spiritual matters
- very fastidious or affected, as in speech, manners, etc
- informal worthlessyou and your precious ideas!
- informal (intensifier)there's precious little left
Word Origin and History for precious
mid-13c., from Old French precios "precious, costly, honorable, of great worth" (11c., Modern French précieux), from Latin pretiosus "costly, valuable," from pretium "value, worth, price" (see price (n.)). Meaning "over-refined" in English first recorded late 14c. In Johnson's day, it also had a secondary inverted sense of "worthless." Related: Preciously; preciousness.
"beloved or dear person or object," 1706, from precious (adj.).