Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “precious”

See all translations

precious

adjective uk   /ˈpreʃ.əs/ us  

precious adjective (VALUABLE)

B2 of great value because of being rare, expensive, or important: a precious gift a precious moment/memory Clean water is a precious commodity in many parts of the world. You're so precious to me.
More examples

precious adjective (NOT NATURAL)

mainly UK disapproving behaving in a very formal and unnatural way by giving too much attention to details that are not important and trying too hard to be perfect: He's so precious about his work that he never gets anything done. Don't you hate the precious way she speaks, pronouncing each single consonant so precisely.

precious adjective (SHOWING DISLIKE)

[before noun] informal used to express dislike and/or anger: You and your precious car - it's all you're interested in!
preciousness
noun [U] uk   /-nəs/ us  

precious

adverb uk   /ˈpreʃ.əs/ informal us  
very: A lot of people will start, but precious few will finish. Be careful - you'll be precious little help if you come back injured.
(Definition of precious from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of precious?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “precious” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

thug

a man who acts violently, especially to commit a crime

Word of the Day

The way we move (Verbs for walking and running)

by Kate Woodford,
March 25, 2015
​​​ This week we’re looking at interesting ways to describe the way that people move. Most of the verbs that we’ll be considering describe how fast or slow people move. Others describe the attitude or state of mind of the person walking or running. Some describe both. Starting with verbs for walking slowly,

Read More 

crossfit noun

March 23, 2015
high-intensity strength training Two women in strappy dresses discussed how much weight they could snatch

Read More