- 1Of great value; not to be wasted or treated carelessly: precious works of art my time’s preciousMore example sentences
- One of the most beneficial meditations in Buddhism is to contemplate how fortunate we are to have this precious life.
- The democracy of manners is a precious achievement.
- An unpleasant manner can lose you precious business.
- 1.1Greatly loved or treasured by someone: look after my daughter—she’s very precious to meMore example sentences
- We were not rich, but we had a few bits of furniture and other treasures that were precious to us and we took as much as we could, including our piano.
- I wanted to have something precious to love and care for; it wasn't simply enough to be loved anymore.
- The results suggested a ragtag yard sale, but for the handwritten notes explaining why each object was so precious to the possessor.
- 1.2 [attributive] • informal Used for emphasis, often in an ironic context: you and your precious schedule—you’ve got to lighten up! a precious lot you know about dogs!More example sentences
- There may be precious little grace in these streets, but there's a precious lot of talent in these pages.
- I spent my time doing chores and praying, leaving precious little time for friendships.
- He tore it to shreds, leaving precious little of it intact.
- 2 • derogatory Affectedly concerned with elegant or refined behaviour, language, or manners: his exaggerated, precious mannerMore example sentences
- It is the most elegant and precious business card in the world.
- Detailing is refined but never precious, allowing the house to feel at once substantial and robust, light and refined.
- Forthrightness can override a too precious concern for complete accuracy.
nounBack to top
- Used as a term of address for a beloved person: don’t be frightened, my preciousMore example sentences
- However, I don't buy the mother's story that her little precious doesn't know what a pimp is.
- All this time Antonio had been searching for his stolen precious.
- I have also had far too many conversations about the perils of dropping the precious.
precious little (or few)
- Extremely little or few (used for emphasis): police still know precious little about the dead manMore example sentences
- But, the room is large enough to be turned into a storage area, in a flat that has precious little of that in the first place.
- Sports ministers of successive governments have done precious little to promote sports.
- When what was to become York's prime rugby league club was first founded it had precious little money and no permanent home.
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- It reprints newspaper classics from the early 20th century, at their original size, every watercolour nuance preciously preserved.
- Countries like Poland got preciously little tangible benefits for their involvement, be it by way of commercial contracts, military assistance, or abolishing visa restrictions for Polish visitors.
- To my mind there is something in the up-for-it, let-your-hair-down, what-the-hell British pub culture that enshrines something seriously free, something preciously liberal in overall British culture.
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- The large show (more than 40 artists, though not all the work is displayed) presents a flock of sexy, edgy, beautifully painted dolls, not one of which sinks into preciousness.
- The project, which was intended as an experiment and a comment on notions of preciousness, greed and consumer society, was hyped as a ‘treasure hunt’ for ‘golden garbage’.
- Above that the ubiquitous black square negates the image like some dark doppelgänger, a reminder of the eventual death of the picture on its obverse, constantly reinscribing the preciousness of this unique object.
Middle English: from Old French precios, from Latin pretiosus 'of great value', from pretium 'price'.