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[presh-ee-os-i-tee] /ˌprɛʃ iˈɒs ɪ ti/
noun, plural preciosities.
fastidious or carefully affected refinement, as in language, style, or taste.
Origin of preciosity
1350-1400; Middle English preciousite < Middle French preciosite < Latin pretiōsitās. See precious, -ity Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for preciosity
Historical Examples
  • It needed, on the contrary, an enormous amount of talent to avoid an effect of fussiness and preciosity.

    Henri Barbusse
  • Walter Pater's essay on Style is honeycombed with involutions and preciosity.

    Unicorns James Huneker
  • In general, affectation of pose, mannerism and preciosity are Tieck's bane only where the sentimental is not concernd.

  • Lockhart hated all affectation and “preciosity,” of which the new book was not destitute.

    Alfred Tennyson Andrew Lang
  • The Queen Anne tea-table, with scalloped edges for cups, marks the note of preciosity creeping into country life.

  • The character of pedantry and preciosity which the Htel afterwards incurred, is not to be traced in any of its original features.

  • It is difficult to resist the sense of a strain for bizarre harmony, of a touch of preciosity.

  • But, in reacting everywhere against vulgar roughness, the very excess of his effort landed him at last in preciosity.

  • The notion that art is first and the rest of the universe nowhere is bound to lead to preciosity and futility in art.

    The Author's Craft Arnold Bennett
  • Their aim in preciosity would seem to be to keep themselves unspotted from the world.

    The Author's Craft Arnold Bennett
British Dictionary definitions for preciosity


noun (pl) -ties
fastidiousness or affectation, esp in speech or manners
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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