- 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
Synonyms for precious
Examples from the Web for preciously
Contemporary Examples of preciously
This means that any ceasefire also requires pressure on Israel—a commodity which tends to be in preciously short supply.Living By The Sword
November 16, 2012
The image of the round little creature sitting at a desk churning out a literary confession is preciously hilarious.This Week’s Hot Reads: April 23, 2012
April 24, 2012
Historical Examples of preciously
The individuals that may have had it kept it preciously to themselves.The Rough Road
William John Locke
You will allow me to remark that you have a preciously short memory.The White Scalper
To a missionary "in science," the "precious volume" cannot be too preciously bound.The Church of St. Bunco
Yet he contains the Falstaffian elements and preciously preserves them.A Novelist on Novels
W. L. George
For the others the figure was It, but for him it was preciously She.Fennel and Rue
William Dean Howells
- 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 for precious
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.).