What does precious mean?

Definitions for precious
ˈprɛʃ əspre·cious

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word precious.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. cherished, precious, treasured, wantedadjective

    characterized by feeling or showing fond affection for

    "a cherished friend"; "children are precious"; "a treasured heirloom"; "so good to feel wanted"

  2. preciousadjective

    of high worth or cost

    "diamonds, sapphires, rubies, and emeralds are precious stones"

  3. valued, preciousadjective

    held in great esteem for admirable qualities especially of an intrinsic nature

    "a valued friend"; "precious memories"

  4. cute, preciousadverb

    obviously contrived to charm

    "an insufferably precious performance"; "a child with intolerably cute mannerisms"

  5. precious, preciouslyadverb


    "there is precious little time left"


  1. preciousnoun

    someone (or something) who is loved; a darling

  2. preciousadverb

    used as an intensifier

    There is precious little we can do.

  3. preciousadjective

    of high value or worth, or seemingly regarded as such

  4. preciousadjective

    regarded with love or tenderness.

  5. preciousadjective

    treated with too much reverence.

  6. preciousadjective

    contrived to be cute or charming

  7. Etymology: From precious, from precios, from pretiosus, from pretium; see price.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. PRECIOUSadjective

    Etymology: precieux, Fr. pretiosus, Lat.

    Many things, which are most precious, are neglected only because the value of them lieth hid. Richard Hooker.

    I cannot but remember such things were,
    That were most precious to me. William Shakespeare, Macbeth.

    Why in that rawness left you wife and children,
    Those precious motives, those strong knots of love,
    Without leave taking? William Shakespeare, Macbeth.

    I never saw
    Such precious deeds in one that promis’d nought
    But begg’ry and poor luck. William Shakespeare, Cymbeline.

    These virtues are the hidden beauties of a soul, which make it lovely and precious in his sight, from whom no secrets are concealed. Joseph Addison, Spectator.

    Let none admire
    That riches grow in hell; that soil may best
    Deserve the precious bane. John Milton.

    More of the same kind, concerning these precious saints amongst the Turks, may be seen in Pietro della valle. John Locke.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Preciousadjective

    of great price; costly; as, a precious stone

  2. Preciousadjective

    of great value or worth; very valuable; highly esteemed; dear; beloved; as, precious recollections

  3. Preciousadjective

    particular; fastidious; overnice

  4. Etymology: [OF. precious, precius, precios, F. prcieux, L. pretiosus, fr. pretium price, worth, value. See Price.]


  1. Precious

    Precious were a British girl group, comprising Louise Rose, Anya Lahiri, Sophie McDonnell, Kalli Clark-Sternberg and Jenny Frost. They first achieved fame as the UK's entry for the Eurovision Song Contest and went on to become a moderately popular act until the group disbanded in 2000.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Precious

    presh′us, adj. of great price or worth: costly: highly esteemed: worthless, contemptible (in irony): fastidious, overnice: (coll.) considerable: (B.) valuable because rare.—adv. (coll.) extremely.—n. Precios′ity, fastidiousness, affected overrefinement.—adv. Prec′iously.—ns. Prec′ious-met′al, a metal of great value, as gold or silver; Prec′iousness; Prec′ious-stone, a stone of value and beauty for ornamentation: a gem or jewel. [O. Fr. precios (Fr. précieux)—L. pretiosuspretium, price.]

Suggested Resources

  1. precious

    Quotes by precious -- Explore a large variety of famous quotes made by precious on the Quotes.net website.

  2. precious

    Song lyrics by precious -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by precious on the Lyrics.com website.

British National Corpus

  1. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'precious' in Adjectives Frequency: #717

How to pronounce precious?

How to say precious in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of precious in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of precious in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of precious in a Sentence

  1. Vaughn Taylor:

    I made a lot of mistakes that day, just being careless, every time I go out there, I try not make the same mistakes and realize how precious life is.

  2. Michelle Bachelet:

    Small island nations are among those suffering the most catastrophic effects of climate change, although they contribute very little to fuelling the problem, just this past week, yet another devastating hurricane hit the Bahamas, taking a terrible toll in human life and destroying precious development gains.

  3. Alan Tauber:

    ( H) e has had the most precious years of Chester Hollman III life stolen from Chester Hollman III by an indifferent system that too often refuses to re-examine doubtful cases or credit evidence of obvious innocence, we are only sorry that Chester Hollman III mother did not live to see Chester Hollman III declared an innocent man.

  4. Mary Schmich:

    Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. The older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

  5. Shekhar Saxena:

    In general, countries that are facing serious socio-economic challenges are at a higher risk of having mental health problems within their communities, the rate of depression and the rate of suicide actually do increase significantly for countries that are suffering from economic downturn. These are precious loss of life which a country should protect by maintaining the mental health care that is due to these people during these times of stress.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for precious

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    showing intellectual penetration or emotional depth
    • A. profound
    • B. opaque
    • C. frantic
    • D. cosmopolitan

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