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precipitous

[pri-sip-i-tuh s]
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adjective
  1. of the nature of or characterized by precipices: a precipitous wall of rock.
  2. extremely or impassably steep: precipitous mountain trails.
  3. precipitate.
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Origin of precipitous

1640–50; < obsolete French précipiteux; see precipitate, -ous
Related formspre·cip·i·tous·ly, adverbpre·cip·i·tous·ness, nounun·pre·cip·i·tous, adjectiveun·pre·cip·i·tous·ly, adverbun·pre·cip·i·tous·ness, noun
Can be confusedprecipitate precipitous

Synonyms

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2. abrupt, sheer, perpendicular.

Antonyms

1, 2. flat, level.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for precipitous

precipitous

adjective
  1. resembling a precipice or characterized by precipices
  2. very steep
  3. hasty or precipitate
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Derived Formsprecipitously, adverbprecipitousness, noun

usage

The use of precipitous to mean hasty is thought by some people to be incorrect
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

Word Origin and History for precipitous

adj.

1640s, "rash, headlong," from obsolete French precipiteux (16c.), from Vulgar Latin *praecipitosus, from praecipitare (see precipitation). Related: Precipitously; precipitousness.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper