precious definition, meaning - what is precious in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionaries Online

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   us   /ˈpreʃ.əs/

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   us   /-nəs/

precious

adverb uk   us   /ˈpreʃ.əs/ informal
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

airwaves

the radio waves used for broadcasting radio and television programmes, or, more generally, radio or television broadcasting time

Word of the Day

They sometimes go here and they never go there: using adverbs of frequency

by Liz Walter,
April 29, 2015
Sometimes, always, often, never: these are some of the most common words in English.  Unfortunately, they are also some of the words that cause the most problems for students. Many of my students put them in the wrong place, often because that’s where they go in their own languages. They say things

Read More 

e-juice noun

April 27, 2015
the liquid content in an e-cigarette, which includes nicotine and may be flavoured in various ways Contestants…suck on a modified vaper until they’ve filled their chest cavity with enough vaporised nicotine “e-juice” to shoot out a belch of white smoke upwards of 4ft long.

Read More