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Definition of "precipitous" []

  • Resembling a precipice; extremely steep. See Synonyms at steep1. (adjective)
  • Having several precipices: a precipitous bluff. (adjective)
  • Usage Problem Extremely rapid, hasty, or abrupt; precipitate: "The change has included a precipitous collapse of Communist authority” ( New York Times). See Usage Note at precipitate. (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 "precipitous" in a sentence
  • "When I left the family home in a blaze of anger and anxiety, I took what I call precipitous action."
  • "BASH: The problem, though, for Democrats is that Republicans, even those who have come out -- and pretty harsh words -- said that the president's policy is not working, they are also saying that they do not feel comfortable in voting with Democrats on what they call precipitous withdrawal from Iraq."
  • "That's the major question at this point that is still unanswered, these growing ranks of Republicans who are breaking with the president's Iraq strategy, but maybe they aren't walking right in line with Democrats and what they call a precipitous withdrawal."