- The definition of precious is something of great value or that is greatly loved.
- An example of precious is priceless jewelry.
- An example of precious is your spouse.
- of great price or value; costly
- of great desirability; held in high esteem: precious rights
- beloved; dear
- very fastidious, overrefined, or affected, as in behavior, language, etc.
- very great: a precious liar
Origin of preciousMiddle English ; from Old French precios ; from Classical Latin pretiosus ; from pretium, price
- Of high cost or worth; valuable: precious jewels.
- Highly esteemed; cherished: precious moments with the new baby.
- Dear; beloved: a friend who is precious to me.
- Affectedly dainty or overrefined: precious mannerisms.
- Informal Thoroughgoing; unmitigated: a precious mess.
Origin of preciousMiddle English, from Old French precios, from Latin pretiōsus, from pretium, price; see per-5 in Indo-European roots.
(comparative more precious, superlative most precious)
- Of high value or worth, or seemingly regarded as such.
- The crown had many precious gemstones. This building work needs site access, and tell the city council that I don't care about a few lorry tyre ruts across their precious grass verge.
- Regarded with love or tenderness.
- My precious daughter is to marry.
- (pejorative) Treated with too much reverence.
- He spent hours painting the eyes of the portrait, which his fellow artists regarded as a bit precious.
- (pejorative) Contrived to be cute or charming.
- Used as an intensifier.
- There is precious little we can do.
From Middle English precious, from Old French precios (“valuable, costly, precious, beloved, also affected, finical”), from Latin pretiosus (“of great value, costly, dear, precious”), from pretium (“value, price”); see price.