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[pri-koh-shuh s] /prɪˈkoʊ ʃəs/
unusually advanced or mature in development, especially mental development:
a precocious child.
prematurely developed, as the mind, faculties, etc.
of or relating to premature development.
  1. flowering, fruiting, or ripening early, as plants or fruit.
  2. bearing blossoms before leaves, as plants.
  3. appearing before leaves, as flowers.
Origin of precocious
1640-50; Latin praecoci-, stem of praecox (see precocity) + -ous
Related forms
precociously, adverb
precociousness, noun
unprecocious, adjective
unprecociously, adverb
unprecociousness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for precociously
Historical Examples
  • They will discover which girls are cold and indifferent, and which are precociously erotic.

    The Sexual Question August Forel
  • He had been from boyhood as precociously a man of the world as I was the opposite.

    Memoirs Charles Godfrey Leland
  • The poorer maidens find their own at a precociously early age.

    The American Egypt Channing Arnold
  • They have matured (have adapted to environment, that is) precociously.

    Feminism and Sex-Extinction

    Arabella Kenealy
  • He nibbled at various books and was precociously brilliant in Latin.

    Against The Grain Joris-Karl Huysmans
  • Martial had neither youthful passion nor youthful enthusiasm to make him precociously a poet.

  • During these early travels the boy's sketch books were full (we are told) of precociously clever things.

  • He read eagerly and precociously, as a delicate child sometimes does, devouring all such books as he could lay hands on.

    The Boyhood of Great Inventors A. Fraser Robertson
  • "If Granny Simmons were here she'd say you had the fidgets," remarked Joan precociously.

    Rebecca's Promise Frances R. Sterrett
  • On the other hand, what sad havoc does not the sexual passion play where it is precociously developed and wantonly indulged.

British Dictionary definitions for precociously


ahead in development, such as the mental development of a child
(botany) (of plants, fruit, etc) flowering or ripening early
Derived Forms
precociously, adverb
precociousness, precocity (prɪˈkɒsɪtɪ) noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin praecox early maturing, from prae early + coquere to ripen
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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Contemporary definitions for precociously

appearing early, as flowers; early in development

Word Origin

Latin prae- + coquere 'to cook''s 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014, LLC
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Word Origin and History for precociously



1640s, "developed before the usual time" (of plants), with -ous + Latin praecox (genitive praecocis) "maturing early," from prae "before" (see pre-) + coquere "to ripen," literally "to cook" (see cook (n.)). Originally of flowers or fruits. Figurative use, of persons, dates from 1670s. Related: Precociously; precociousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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precociously in Medicine

precocious pre·co·cious (prĭ-kō'shəs)
Showing unusually early development or maturity.

pre·coc'ity (-kŏs'ĭ-tē) or pre·co'cious·ness n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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precociously in Science
Relating to or having flowers that blossom before the leaves emerge. Some species of magnolias are precocious.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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