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How to pronounce precipitous (audio)

Dictionary definition of precipitous

Extremely steep, sudden, or dramatic in its descent or progress.
"The driver swerved to avoid the precipitous drop-off on the side of the road."

Detailed meaning of precipitous

It is often used to describe a physical slope or incline that drops sharply and abruptly, making it difficult to traverse or navigate. However, it can also be used more broadly to describe any situation or process that is characterized by a rapid or drastic change. For example, a company's precipitous decline in profits might indicate a serious problem that requires immediate attention. Similarly, a person's precipitous rise to fame or power could be the result of sudden and unexpected circumstances, such as a viral social media post or a surprise election victory.

Example sentences containing precipitous

1. The trail up the mountain was precipitous, making it difficult for hikers to ascend.
2. The precipitous cliff face loomed over the crashing waves below.
3. The company's precipitous decline in profits led to layoffs and restructuring.
4. The construction workers had to be extremely careful on the precipitous scaffolding.
5. The skier navigated the precipitous slope with skill and agility.
6. The economic downturn caused a precipitous drop in consumer spending.

History and etymology of precipitous

The adjective 'precipitous' has its etymological origins in Latin. It is derived from the Latin word 'praecipitium,' which is formed by combining 'praeceps' (headlong) and 'capere' (to take or seize). 'Praeceps' itself is a combination of 'prae' (before) and 'caput' (head), giving 'praecipitium' the literal meaning of 'headlong' or 'steep descent.' Over time, this Latin term was adopted into English as 'precipitous,' retaining its fundamental meaning of describing something as extremely steep, sudden, or dramatic in its descent or progress. The etymology of 'precipitous' vividly conveys the idea of a rapid and steep drop, emphasizing the abruptness and often challenging nature of such descents or progressions.

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Further usage examples of precipitous

1. The rescue team had to make a precipitous descent down the steep ravine.
2. The rock climber faced a precipitous challenge as she tackled the sheer rock face.
3. The stock market experienced a precipitous drop in value in just a few hours.
4. The weather forecast warned of a precipitous drop in temperature overnight.
5. The town was nestled in a valley surrounded by precipitous peaks.
6. The mountain had a precipitous drop that challenged even expert climbers.
7. The stock market's precipitous decline sent shockwaves through the financial world.
8. Her rise to fame was meteoric, characterized by a precipitous ascent.
9. The precipitous fall in temperatures caught everyone off guard.
10. The road's precipitous descent made driving treacherous in bad weather.
11. The company's precipitous growth led to rapid expansion.
12. The politician's precipitous decision had far-reaching consequences.
13. The river flowed through a precipitous gorge, creating a stunning landscape.
14. The team faced a precipitous challenge in the championship game.
15. The athlete's precipitous jump broke a long-standing record.
16. The precipitous drop in attendance raised concerns about the event's future.
17. Climbing the precipitous cliffs required exceptional skill and courage.
18. The economy's precipitous recovery surprised many experts.
19. The diplomat faced a precipitous diplomatic crisis.
20. The company's precipitous rise to dominance disrupted the market.
21. The sudden and precipitous rainfall caused flooding in the area.
22. The precipitous decline in morale affected the entire team's performance.
23. The actor's precipitous decline in popularity was unexpected.
24. The region's precipitous terrain posed challenges for infrastructure development.
25. The team's precipitous victory was celebrated by fans worldwide.
26. The political leader's precipitous actions polarized the nation.
27. The ship navigated the precipitous waves during the storm.
28. The athlete's precipitous speed left competitors trailing behind.
29. The stock's precipitous drop raised concerns among investors.
30. The precipitous rise of technology has transformed our lives.



steep, gradual, gentle, slow


Prefix pre-, GRE 12 (Graduate Record Examination), Challenges and Difficulties, Danger and Threat, Gloom and Unpleasantness, Irregular and Unpredictable, Direction and Change

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