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precious Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. adjective satellite characterized by feeling or showing fond affection for
    cherished; wanted; treasured.
    • a cherished friend
    • children are precious
    • a treasured heirloom
    • so good to feel wanted
  2. adjective satellite of high worth or cost
    • diamonds, sapphires, rubies, and emeralds are precious stones
  3. adjective satellite held in great esteem for admirable qualities especially of an intrinsic nature
    • a valued friend
    • precious memories
  4. adjective satellite obviously contrived to charm
    • an insufferably precious performance
    • a child with intolerably cute mannerisms
  5. adverb extremely
    • there is precious little time left

Pre"cious adjective
OF. precious, precius, precios, F. précieux, L. pretiosus, fr. pretium price, worth, value. See Price.
  1. Of great price; costly; as, a precious stone. "The precious bane." Milton.
  2. Of great value or worth; very valuable; highly esteemed; dear; beloved; as, precious recollections.
    She is more precious than rules. Prov. iii. 15.
    Many things which are most precious are neglected only because the value of them lieth hid. Hooker.
    Also used ironically; as, a precious rascal.
  3. Particular; fastidious; overnice. Obs.
    Lest that precious folk be with me wroth. Chaucer.

Webster 1913