- 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 (â€œvaluable, costly, precious, beloved, also affected, finicalâ€), from Latin pretiosus (â€œof great value, costly, dear, preciousâ€), from pretium (â€œvalue, priceâ€); see price.