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  1. the state or quality of being precise.
  2. accuracy; exactness: to arrive at an estimate with precision.
  3. mechanical or scientific exactness: a lens ground with precision.
  4. punctiliousness; strictness: precision in one's business dealings.
  5. Mathematics. the degree to which the correctness of a quantity is expressed.Compare accuracy(def 3).
  6. Chemistry, Physics. the extent to which a given set of measurements of the same sample agree with their mean.Compare accuracy(def 2).
  1. of, relating to, or characterized by precision: precision swimming; precision instruments for aircraft.

Origin of precision

1630–40; < Latin praecīsiōn- (stem of praecīsiō) a cutting off. See precise, -ion
Related formspre·ci·sion·al, adjectiveo·ver·pre·ci·sion, nounul·tra·pre·ci·sion, noun

Synonyms for precision

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for precision


  1. the quality of being precise; accuracy
  2. (modifier) characterized by or having a high degree of exactnessprecision grinding; a precision instrument
Derived Formsprecisionism, nounprecisionist, noun

Word Origin for precision

C17: from Latin praecīsiō a cutting off; see precise
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 precision

1630s, "a cutting off (mentally), abstraction," from French précision (16c.) and directly from Latin praecisionem (nominative praecisio) "a cutting off," noun of action from past participle stem of praecidere (see precise). Meaning "preciseness" is from 1740.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper