Word of the Day

Thursday, October 14, 1999


\pri-KOH-shus\ , adjective;
Characterized by or characteristic of exceptionally early development or maturity (especially in mental aptitude); as, "a precocious child"; "a precocious achievement."
(Botany) Flowering or fruiting early.
He showed a precocious talent in the creation of shadow puppets.
-- James F. O'Gorman, Accomplished in All Departments of Art: Hammatt Billings of Boston, 1818-1874
He quickly acquired a grandiose and precocious vocabulary.
-- Christopher Phelps, Young Sidney Hook: Marxist and Pragmatist
After demonstrating a precocious aptitude for music, he was sent at a young age to the Leo Miller Studio for instruction in piano.
-- James T. Fisher, Dr. America: The Lives of Thomas A. Dooley, 1927-1961
Precocious is from Latin praecox, praecocis, ripe before the time, premature, cooked beforehand, from praecoquo, praecoquere, to cook in advance, from prae-, before + coquo, coquere, to cook, to ripen.
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