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Definition of "precarious" []

  • Dangerously lacking in security or stability: a precarious posture; precarious footing on the ladder. (adjective)
  • Subject to chance or unknown conditions: "His kingdom was still precarious; the Danes far from subdued” ( Christopher Brooke). (adjective)
  • Based on uncertain, unwarranted, or unproved premises: a precarious solution to a difficult problem. (adjective)
  • Archaic Dependent on the will or favor of another. (adjective)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "precarious" in a sentence
  • "She could not consent, she said, to dim the prosperities of his career by a union with her future, which she characterized as a precarious thing, a thing for making burdens out of -- but not for his carrying."
  • ""The quality of jobs changed dramatically in the way that we have what we call 'precarious employment' in Germany," he says."
  • "And Jennifer Klein, professor of history at Yale University, adds that women often work in "precarious" jobs with irregular hours and low benefits."