- a cliff with a vertical, nearly vertical, or overhanging face.
- a situation of great peril: on the precipice of war.
Origin of precipice
Examples from the Web for precipice
They are always suspended over a precipice, dangling by a slender thread that shows every sign of snapping.How the PC Police Threaten Free Speech
January 9, 2015
When Brecht penned these lines, his continent hovered on the precipice of a journey into hell.Brecht's Mercenary Mother Courage Turns 75
September 10, 2014
We always seem to be on the precipice of falling back into recession.The U.S. Economy Had a Hiccup, Not a Heart Attack, This Year
May 29, 2014
Here we stand, on the precipice of another glorious summer—but what will it hold?Let’s Lay Out the Odds on Your Crazy Summer
Kelly Williams Brown
May 25, 2014
There was a sense of standing together on the precipice, but holding each other aloft by sheer will, conjoined by rage.‘The Normal Heart’ and Hope in the Battlefield of AIDS
May 24, 2014
At present I am on the precipice; without your hand I fall forever.
Do you not look on the past with a shudder at the precipice on which you stood?
I—I feel like a dizzy creature standing at the edge of a precipice.The Law-Breakers
Only a slender column of dust was still eddying at the edge of the precipice.A Hero of Our Time
M. Y. Lermontov
The rebels were on the brink of a precipice, and extricated themselves.Diary from November 12, 1862, to October 18, 1863
- the steep sheer face of a cliff or crag
- the cliff or crag itself
- a precarious situation
Word Origin and History for precipice
"steep face of rock," 1630s, from Middle French précipice, from Latin praecipitium "a steep place," literally "a fall or leap," from praeceps (genitive praecipitis) "steep, headlong, headfirst," from prae "before, forth" (see pre-) + caput "head" (see head (n.)). Earlier in English as a verb (1590s) meaning "fall to great depth."