[prey-see-oo z; French prey-syœz]
- one of the 17th-century literary women of France who affected an extreme care in the use of language.
- an affected or pretentious woman, especially one marked by preciosity in manner or speech.
- (of a woman) marked by affectation or preciosity.
Origin of précieuse
1720–30; < French; feminine of précieux; see -euse
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for precieuse
To be a precieuse was in itself an evidence of good conduct.
We find here the code which ruled the Hotel de Rambouillet, and the very well-defined character of the precieuse.
There was Ninon; and there was Madame de Rambouillet; the one galante, the other precieuse.The Romance of Biography (Vol 2 of 2)
Word Origin and History for precieuse
"pedantic woman, woman aiming at refined delicacy of language and taste" (1727), from French précieuse, noun use of fem. of précieux (see precious (adj.)); especially as lampooned in Molière's comedy "Les Précieuses ridicules" (1659).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper