[pri-koh-shuh s]


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

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for precociousness

Historical Examples of precociousness

  • There had been a sort of precociousness about the sweat-shop girl he remembered.

    Comrade Yetta

    Albert Edwards

  • The story of his precociousness in artistic matters is certainly extraordinary.

  • When Brian started school, he foresaw and avoided all trouble, and delighted his teachers with his precociousness.

  • He neighboured sagacity when he pointed that interrogation relating to Nesta's precociousness of the intelligence.

  • Poverty and necessity force this precociousness on the poor little brat.

    The Newcomes

    William Makepeace Thackeray

British Dictionary definitions for precociousness



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

Word Origin for precocious

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 precociousness



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

precociousness in Medicine




Showing unusually early development or maturity.
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.

precociousness in Science



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