Dictionary.com

precarious

[ pri-kair-ee-uhs ]
/ prɪˈkɛər i əs /
Save This Word!

adjective
dependent on circumstances beyond one's control; uncertain; insecure: a precarious livelihood.
dependent on the will or pleasure of another; liable to be withdrawn or lost at the will of another: He held a precarious tenure under an arbitrary administration.
exposed to or involving danger; dangerous; perilous; risky: the precarious life of an underseas diver.
having insufficient, little, or no foundation: a precarious assumption.
QUIZ
CAN YOU ANSWER THESE COMMON GRAMMAR DEBATES?
There are grammar debates that never die; and the ones highlighted in the questions in this quiz are sure to rile everyone up once again. Do you know how to answer the questions that cause some of the greatest grammar debates?
Question 1 of 7
Which sentence is correct?

Origin of precarious

First recorded in 1640–50; from Latin precārius “obtained by entreaty; given as a favor; borrowed; uncertain”; see also prayer1

synonym study for precarious

1. See uncertain.

OTHER WORDS FROM precarious

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use precarious in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for precarious

precarious
/ (prɪˈkɛərɪəs) /

adjective
liable to failure or catastrophe; insecure; perilous
archaic dependent on another's will

Derived forms of precarious

precariously, adverbprecariousness, noun

Word Origin for precarious

C17: from Latin precārius obtained by begging (hence, dependent on another's will), from prex prayer 1
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
FEEDBACK