- of high price or great value; very valuable or costly: precious metals.
- highly esteemed for some spiritual, nonmaterial, or moral quality: precious memories.
- dear; beloved: a precious child.
- affectedly or excessively delicate, refined, or nice: precious manners.
- flagrant; gross: a precious fool.
- a dearly beloved person; darling.
- extremely; very: She wastes precious little time.
Origin of precious
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- beloved; dear; cherished
- very costly or valuable
- held in high esteem, esp in moral or spiritual matters
- very fastidious or affected, as in speech, manners, etc
- informal worthlessyou and your precious ideas!
- informal (intensifier)there's precious little left
Word Origin and History for unprecious
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.
"beloved or dear person or object," 1706, from precious (adj.).