precious Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “precious” in the English Dictionary

"precious" in British English

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preciousadjective

uk   us   /ˈpreʃ.əs/
  • precious adjective (VALUABLE)

B2 of ​greatvalue 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.

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  • 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 ​singleconsonant so ​precisely.
preciousness
noun [U] uk   us   /-nəs/

preciousadverb

uk   us   /ˈpreʃ.əs/ informal
very: Lots of ​people will ​start, but precious few will ​finish. Be ​careful - you'll be precious littlehelp if you come back ​injured.
(Definition of precious from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"precious" in American English

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preciousadjective

 us   /ˈpreʃ·əs/
  • precious adjective (VALUABLE)

of very ​greatvalue or ​worth: precious ​memories Children are ​our most precious ​resource. Precious ​metals are ​gold, ​silver, and ​platinum. A precious ​stone is a ​jewel: Diamonds and ​rubies are precious ​stones.

preciousadverb

 us   /ˈpreʃ·əs/ infml
  • precious adverb (VERY)

very: He ​earns precious little ​money.
(Definition of precious from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“precious” in American English

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