Open main menu



From obsolete French précipiteux, from Vulgar Latin *praecipitosus. See precipitation.


  • (file)



  1. Steep, like a precipice
    a precipitous cliff
    a precipitous mountain
    a precipitous decline
    a precipitous drop
  2. Headlong
    a precipitous fall
  3. Hasty; rash; quick; sudden
    precipitous attempts
    • 2007, J. Michael Fay, Ivory Wars: Last Stand in Zakouma, National Geographic (March 2007), 46,
      ...humans have been responsible for a precipitous decline of elephants, from perhaps 300,000 in the early 1970s to some 10,000 today.

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for precipitous in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)