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precious

[presh-uh s] /ˈprɛʃ əs/
adjective
1.
of high price or great value; very valuable or costly:
precious metals.
2.
highly esteemed for some spiritual, nonmaterial, or moral quality:
precious memories.
3.
dear; beloved:
a precious child.
4.
affectedly or excessively delicate, refined, or nice:
precious manners.
5.
flagrant; gross:
a precious fool.
noun
6.
a dearly beloved person; darling.
adverb
7.
extremely; very:
She wastes precious little time.
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English preciose (< Old French precios) < Latin pretiōsus costly, valuable, equivalent to preti(um) price, value + -ōsus -ous
Related forms
preciously, adverb
preciousness, noun
nonprecious, adjective
nonpreciously, adverb
nonpreciousness, noun
unprecious, adjective
unpreciously, adverb
unpreciousness, noun
Synonyms
1. See valuable. 3. darling, cherished.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for more precious

precious

/ˈprɛʃəs/
adjective
1.
beloved; dear; cherished
2.
very costly or valuable
3.
held in high esteem, esp in moral or spiritual matters
4.
very fastidious or affected, as in speech, manners, etc
5.
(informal) worthless you and your precious ideas!
adverb
6.
(informal) (intensifier) there's precious little left
Derived Forms
preciously, adverb
preciousness, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French precios, from Latin pretiōsus valuable, from pretium price, value
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
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Word Origin and History for more precious
precious
late 13c., from O.Fr. precios (11c., Fr. précieux), from L. pretiosus "costly, valuable," from pretium "value, worth, price" (see price). Meaning "over-refined" first recorded c.1395. Precieuse "a woman aiming at refined delicacy of language and taste" (1727) is from Fr. précieuse, noun use of fem. of précieux, especially as lampooned in Molière's comedy "Les Précieuses ridicules" (1659).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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