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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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Examples from the web for precious
  • All of those things are valued for their taste, and are precious because of it.
  • In addition, they will have to be cheaper: requiring the precious metal platinum would make them expensive.
  • We took a look at three of our favorite bag makers to see which model was best for porting precious payloads across campus.
  • Townships plagued by flooding could gain precious time to make preparations.
  • As in many areas of the West, water is precious ― a limited commodity.
  • Luckily, portable hard drives have begun to take the mind-numbing tedium out of copying your precious files.
  • The precious is the best and can let us feel noble whose desire lurks in our heart.
  • Despite being misnamed, it remains a precious holiday ingredient.
  • In a small business, every dollar is precious, so spend your funds wisely.
  • In fact, there seem never to have been any precious metals at the site.
British Dictionary definitions for 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 precious
adj.

mid-13c., from Old French precios "precious, costly, honorable, of great worth" (11c., Modern French précieux), from Latin pretiosus "costly, valuable," from pretium "value, worth, price" (see price (n.)). Meaning "over-refined" in English first recorded late 14c. In Johnson's day, it also had a secondary inverted sense of "worthless." Related: Preciously; preciousness.

n.

"beloved or dear person or object," 1706, from precious (adj.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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