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precious

[presh-uh s] /ˈprɛʃ əs/
adjective
1.
of high price or great value; very valuable or costly:
precious metals.
2.
highly esteemed for some spiritual, nonmaterial, or moral quality:
precious memories.
3.
dear; beloved:
a precious child.
4.
affectedly or excessively delicate, refined, or nice:
precious manners.
5.
flagrant; gross:
a precious fool.
noun
6.
a dearly beloved person; darling.
adverb
7.
extremely; very:
She wastes precious little time.
Origin of precious
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English preciose (< Old French precios) < Latin pretiōsus costly, valuable, equivalent to preti(um) price, value + -ōsus -ous
Related forms
preciously, adverb
preciousness, noun
nonprecious, adjective
nonpreciously, adverb
nonpreciousness, noun
unprecious, adjective
unpreciously, adverb
unpreciousness, noun
Synonyms
1. See valuable. 3. darling, cherished.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for preciousness
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A tale for the young, illustrative of the preciousness of Scripture promises.

    Hunter's Marjory Margaret Bruce Clarke
  • This she can do now and then; but even so her new lover has yet to learn her preciousness.

    Oxford Frederick Douglas How
  • Let it be so, with an ever-growing sense of the preciousness of the work of intercession.

    To My Younger Brethren

    Handley C. G. Moule
  • Now they wore a glamour and a preciousness that was bound up with life itself.

    Miss Mapp Edward Frederic Benson
  • The idea of preciousness, as well as that of protection, is included in the word.

  • But, oh, the power and preciousness of those words, "I have prayed for thee!"

    The Great Commission C. H. (Charles Henry) Mackintosh
  • Can he have any just sense of its preciousness, its excellence, its moral glories?

British Dictionary definitions for preciousness

precious

/ˈprɛʃəs/
adjective
1.
beloved; dear; cherished
2.
very costly or valuable
3.
held in high esteem, esp in moral or spiritual matters
4.
very fastidious or affected, as in speech, manners, etc
5.
(informal) worthless: you and your precious ideas!
adverb
6.
(informal) (intensifier): there's precious little left
Derived Forms
preciously, adverb
preciousness, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French precios, from Latin pretiōsus valuable, from pretium price, value
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for preciousness

precious

adj.

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.

precious

n.

"beloved or dear person or object," 1706, from precious (adj.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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