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precipitous

[pri-sip-i-tuh s] /prɪˈsɪp ɪ təs/
adjective
1.
of the nature of or characterized by precipices:
a precipitous wall of rock.
2.
extremely or impassably steep:
precipitous mountain trails.
Origin
obsolete French
1640-1650
1640-50; < obsolete French précipiteux; see precipitate, -ous
Related forms
precipitously, adverb
precipitousness, noun
unprecipitous, adjective
unprecipitously, adverb
unprecipitousness, noun
Can be confused
precipitate, precipitous.
Synonyms
2. abrupt, sheer, perpendicular.
Antonyms
1, 2. flat, level.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for precipitousness

precipitous

/prɪˈsɪpɪtəs/
adjective
1.
resembling a precipice or characterized by precipices
2.
very steep
3.
hasty or precipitate
Derived Forms
precipitously, adverb
precipitousness, noun
Usage note
The use of precipitous to mean hasty is thought by some people to be incorrect
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 precipitousness

precipitous

adj.

1640s, "rash, headlong," from obsolete French precipiteux (16c.), from Vulgar Latin *praecipitosus, from praecipitare (see precipitation). Related: Precipitously; precipitousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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