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dependent on the will or pleasure of another; liable to be withdrawn or lost at the will of another: He held a precarious tenure under an arbitrary administration.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
ARE YOU A TRUE BLUE CHAMPION OF THESE "BLUE" SYNONYMS?
We could talk until we're blue in the face about this quiz on words for the color "blue," but we think you should take the quiz and find out if you're a whiz at these colorful terms.
Question 1 of 8
Which of the following words describes “sky blue”?
Meet Grammar CoachWrite or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing
Meet Grammar CoachImprove Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help

Origin of precarious

First recorded in 1640–50, precarious is from the Latin word precārius “obtained by entreaty or mere favor” (hence uncertain); see 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. 2021

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