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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)
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