• synonyms


[pri-koh-shuh s]
  1. unusually advanced or mature in development, especially mental development: a precocious child.
  2. prematurely developed, as the mind, faculties, etc.
  3. of or relating to premature development.
  4. Botany.
    1. flowering, fruiting, or ripening early, as plants or fruit.
    2. bearing blossoms before leaves, as plants.
    3. appearing before leaves, as flowers.
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Origin of precocious

1640–50; Latin praecoci-, stem of praecox (see precocity) + -ous
Related formspre·co·cious·ly, adverbpre·co·cious·ness, nounun·pre·co·cious, adjectiveun·pre·co·cious·ly, adverbun·pre·co·cious·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for precociously

Historical Examples

  • They will discover which girls are cold and indifferent, and which are precociously erotic.

    The Sexual Question

    August Forel

  • He had been from boyhood as precociously a man of the world as I was the opposite.


    Charles Godfrey Leland

  • The poorer maidens find their own at a precociously early age.

    The American Egypt

    Channing Arnold

  • They have matured (have adapted to environment, that is) precociously.

  • He nibbled at various books and was precociously brilliant in Latin.

    Against The Grain

    Joris-Karl Huysmans

British Dictionary definitions for precociously


  1. ahead in development, such as the mental development of a child
  2. botany (of plants, fruit, etc) flowering or ripening early
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Derived Formsprecociously, adverbprecociousness or precocity (prɪˈkɒsɪtɪ), noun

Word Origin

C17: from Latin praecox early maturing, from prae early + coquere to ripen
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 precociously



1640s, "developed before the usual time" (of plants), with -ous + Latin praecox (genitive praecocis) "maturing early," from prae "before" (see pre-) + coquere "to ripen," literally "to cook" (see cook (n.)). Originally of flowers or fruits. Figurative use, of persons, dates from 1670s. Related: Precociously; precociousness.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

precociously in Medicine


  1. Showing unusually early development or maturity.
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Related formspre•cocity (-kŏsĭ-tē) null n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

precociously in Science


  1. Relating to or having flowers that blossom before the leaves emerge. Some species of magnolias are precocious.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.