precious (adj.) late 13c., from O.Fr. precios (11c., Mod.Fr. précieux), from L. pretiosus "costly, valuable," from pretium "value, worth, price" (see PRICE (Cf. price)). Meaning "over-refined" first recorded late 14c. Precieuse "a woman aiming at refined delicacy of language and taste" (1727) is from Fr. précieuse, noun use of fem. of précieux, especially as lampooned in Molière's comedy "Les Précieuses ridicules" (1659).

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  • Precious — Pre cious, a. [OF. precious, precius, precios, F. pr[ e]cieux, L. pretiosus, fr. pretium price, worth, value. See {Price}.] 1. Of great price; costly; as, a precious stone. The precious bane. Milton. [1913 Webster] 2. Of great value or worth;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • precious — ► ADJECTIVE 1) having great value. 2) greatly loved or treasured. 3) ironic considerable: a precious lot you know! 4) derogatory affectedly concerned with elegant or refined language or manners. ● precious little (or few) Cf. ↑precious little …   English terms dictionary

  • precious — [adj1] favorite, valued adored, beloved, cherished, darling, dear, dearest, idolized, inestimable, loved, pet, prized, treasured; concepts 529,567 Ant. disfavored, useless, valueless, worthless precious [adj2] expensive; rare choice, costly, dear …   New thesaurus

  • precious — [presh′əs] adj. [ME < OFr precios < L pretiosus < pretium, PRICE] 1. of great price or value; costly 2. of great desirability; held in high esteem [precious rights] 3. beloved; dear 4. very fastidious, overrefined, or affected, as in… …   English World dictionary

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  • precious — *costly, expensive, dear, valuable, invaluable, priceless Analogous words: *choice, exquisite, recherché, rare: valued, prized, appreciated, cherished (see APPRECIATE) …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

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