Definition of precocious in English:

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Pronunciation: /prəˈkōSHəs/


1(Of a child) having developed certain abilities or proclivities at an earlier age than usual: he was a precocious, solitary boy
More example sentences
  • The point is made early on that Daniel is an intellectually precocious child.
  • She was a precocious child, it would seem, and already demonstrating where her adult interests would come to lie.
  • There's still something of the precocious child about him.
advanced for one's age, forward, mature, gifted, talented, clever, intelligent, quick
informal smart
1.1(Of behavior or ability) indicative of early development: a precocious talent for computing
More example sentences
  • Outfield players, especially, must be nurtured almost full-time from the first inkling of any precocious ability.
  • His precocious ability recognised, he would go on to win the same scholarship held by Daniel Barenboim and Itzhak Perlman and to play at the Carnegie Hall.
  • Neil Tarrant, on loan from Aston Villa, has provided the impetus with his precocious ability to score important goals.
1.2(Of a plant) flowering or fruiting earlier than usual.
Example sentences
  • In cold-winter climates, prune precocious magnolias in summer after they've bloomed.
  • The vine is a precocious one, budding, flowering, and ripening early, which makes it prone to spring frosts but means that it can flourish in regions as cool as much of the Loire.
  • Callery pears are precocious, having a very short juvenile period, and flower as early as 3 years old.



Pronunciation: /prəˈkōSHəslē/
Example sentences
  • But while his career path suggests a precociously mature musical sensibility, his debut solo album counters any such notion.
  • Elaine, a precociously bright child and a voracious reader, had been taken out of school and sent away to earn some money.
  • At the precociously early age of 12, he was a pupil at the Trustees' Academy.


Pronunciation: /prəˈkōSHəsnəs/
Example sentences
  • Hmm… while I can agree that the dialogue is weak (at times) and that the little boy's precociousness is unnecessary, I think the rest of the film was nearly flawless.
  • Her style has always been proof of her precociousness.
  • They provide hours of amusement with their lively chatter, playfulness, precociousness and curiosity.


Pronunciation: /prəˈkäsədē/
Example sentences
  • Three years later the boy's intellectual precocity was noticed, and a group of local businessmen clubbed together to send the youth to North America to study.
  • Olson suggests that precocity might correlate with ability to visualize, which leads into a considerable discussion of people who learn mathematics verbally as contrasted with those who learn it visually.
  • His intellectual precocity, and his dedication to work, which remained compulsive from boyhood onwards, are characteristic.


Mid 17th century: from Latin praecox, praecoc- (from praecoquere 'ripen fully', from prae 'before' + coquere 'to cook') + -ious.

  • apricot from mid 16th century:

    The Romans called the apricot the malum praecocum or ‘the apple that ripens early’. The second part of the Latin name, meaning ‘early-ripening’, is also the root of the word precocious (mid 17th century), now used of children but originally used to describe flowers or fruit that blossomed or ripened early. Over the centuries praecocum gradually mutated in a multilingual version of Chinese whispers. It passed into Byzantine Greek as perikokkon, to Arabic as al-birquq, to Spanish albaricoque, and to Portuguese albricoque. In the 16th century the word was adopted into English from Portuguese in the form albrecock. The modern spelling was probably influenced by French abricot, and perhaps by Latin apricus ‘ripe’.

Words that rhyme with precocious

atrocious, ferocious

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: pre·co·cious

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