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Alternative formsEdit


First attested in 1598, from Middle French precipice, from Latin praecipitium (a steep place), from praeceps (steep), from prae + caput (head). First meaning of the noun is recorded from 1632.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈpɹɛsɪpɪs/
  • IPA(key): /ˈpɹɛs.ə.pɪs/
  • Hyphenation: preci‧pice


precipice (plural precipices)

  1. A very steep cliff.
    • 1719- Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe
      I resolved to remove my tent from the place where it stood, which was just under the hanging precipice of the hill; and which, if it should be shaken again, would certainly fall upon my tent...
  2. The brink of a dangerous situation.
    to stand on a precipice
  3. (obsolete) A headlong fall or descent.


Related termsEdit


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Middle FrenchEdit


precipice m (plural precipices)

  1. precipice (steep cliff)