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[pri-sip-i-tey-shuh n] /prɪˌsɪp ɪˈteɪ ʃən/
the act of precipitating; state of being precipitated.
a casting down or falling headlong.
a hastening or hurrying in movement, procedure, or action.
sudden haste.
unwise or rash rapidity.
  1. falling products of condensation in the atmosphere, as rain, snow, or hail.
  2. the amount of rain, snow, hail, etc., that has fallen at a given place within a given period, usually expressed in inches or centimeters of water.
Chemistry, Physics. the precipitating of a substance from a solution.
Origin of precipitation
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English < Latin praecipitātiōn- (stem of praecipitātiō) a falling headlong. See precipitate, -ion
Related forms
nonprecipitation, noun
self-precipitation, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for precipitation
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British Dictionary definitions for precipitation


  1. rain, snow, sleet, dew, etc, formed by condensation of water vapour in the atmosphere
  2. the deposition of these on the earth's surface
  3. the amount precipitated
the production or formation of a chemical precipitate
the act of precipitating or the state of being precipitated
rash or undue haste
(spiritualism) the appearance of a spirit in bodily form; materialization
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 precipitation

late 15c., "a casting down" (of the evil angels from heaven), also, in alchemy "separation of a solid substance from a solution," from Middle French precipitation (15c.) and directly from Latin praecipitationem (nominative praecipitatio) "act or fact of falling headlong, haste," noun of action from past participle stem of praecipitare "fall, be hasty," from praeceps "steep" (see precipice). Meaning "sudden haste" is c.1500. Meaning "act of falling from a height" is attested from 1610s. Meteorological sense of "rain, snow, dew, etc." is from 1670s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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precipitation in Medicine

precipitation pre·cip·i·ta·tion (prĭ-sĭp'ĭ-tā'shən)
The process of separating a substance from a solution as a solid.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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precipitation in Science
  1. A form of water, such as rain, snow, or sleet, that condenses from the atmosphere, becomes too heavy to remain suspended, and falls to the Earth's surface. Different atmospheric conditions are responsible for the different forms of precipitation.

  2. The process by which a substance is separated out of a solution as a solid. Precipitation occurs either by the action of gravity or through a chemical reaction that forms an insoluble compound out of two or more soluble compounds.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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precipitation in Culture

precipitation definition

In meteorology, the fall of water, ice, or snow deposited on the surface of the Earth from the atmosphere. In chemistry, a chemical reaction in a solution in which a solid material is formed and subsequently falls, as a precipitate, to the bottom of the container.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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