Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “precious”

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.

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

mutant

an organism that is different from others of its type because of a permanent change in its genes

Word of the Day

What’s that lovely smell?

by Kate Woodford,
October 29, 2014
As adult humans, we can distinguish about 10,000 different smells. It’s no wonder, then, that we have so many words and expressions to describe them. This week we’re taking a look at those smell words – words that describe good smells and words that describe bad smells. Most smell words are either

Read More 

high-frequency trading noun

October 27, 2014
a type of stock market trading that uses very complex technology to trade extremely quickly, often making tiny profits which nevertheless add up to substantial sums Lewis’s book, Flash Boys, is driving a huge amount of attention toward the topic of high frequency trading, and it has rekindled some of

Read More