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1610s, now obsolete, but prefered by purists for the sense "high and steep" over the later formation precipitous.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Historical Examples
  • But, spurred by fears for his friend, he started downward for the precipitious trail leading directly towards it.

  • The hotel stood on a romantic elevation, a precipitious bluff, and commanded a magnificent view of the river and valley.

    Fifty Years In The Northwest William Henry Carman Folsom

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