of the nature of or characterized by precipices: a precipitous wall of rock.
extremely or impassably steep: precipitous mountain trails.

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 for precipitous

Antonyms for precipitous

1, 2. flat, level. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for precipitous

sharp, dizzying, abrupt, craggy, arduous, dizzy, high, perpendicular, precipitate, sheer

Examples from the Web for precipitous

Contemporary Examples of precipitous

Historical Examples of precipitous

British Dictionary definitions for precipitous



resembling a precipice or characterized by precipices
very steep
hasty or precipitate
Derived Formsprecipitously, adverbprecipitousness, noun


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

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper