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précieuse

[prey-see-oo z; French prey-syœz] /ˌpreɪ siˈʊz; French preɪˈsyœz/
noun, plural précieuses
[prey-see-oo z-iz; French prey-syœz] /ˌpreɪ siˈʊz ɪz; French preɪˈsyœz/ (Show IPA)
1.
one of the 17th-century literary women of France who affected an extreme care in the use of language.
2.
an affected or pretentious woman, especially one marked by preciosity in manner or speech.
adjective
3.
(of a woman) marked by affectation or preciosity.
Origin
1720-1730
1720-30; < French; feminine of précieux; see -euse
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Word Origin and History for précieuse

precieuse

n.

"pedantic woman, woman aiming at refined delicacy of language and taste" (1727), from French précieuse, noun use of fem. of précieux (see precious (adj.)); especially as lampooned in Molière's comedy "Les Précieuses ridicules" (1659).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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