Definition of precocial in English:


Syllabification: pre·co·cial
Pronunciation: /priˈkōSHəl


  • 1(Of a young bird or other animal) hatched or born in an advanced state and able to feed itself almost immediately. Also called nidifugous. Often contrasted with altricial.
    More example sentences
    • Young in precocial birds that are fed by their parents also engage in vocal and postural begging displays.
    • The young are precocial and are tended by both parents.
    • Males leave the females soon after incubation begins, and females provide uniparental care for precocial young.
  • 1.1(Of a particular species) having precocial young.
    More example sentences
    • Lack proposed that for species with precocial young, mean clutch size is determined by the average amount of nutrients available to females at the time of egg production.
    • We predicted that species with precocial newborn should have synchronized births as an antipredator strategy.


late 19th century: from modern Latin Praecoces (the name of a former division of birds, plural of Latin praecox 'mature before its time') + -ial.

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