Definition of precious adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈpreʃəs//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈpreʃəs//
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  1. 1rare and worth a lot of money a precious vase The crown was set with precious jewels—diamonds, rubies and emeralds. see also precious metal, precious stone Synonymsvaluableprecious priceless irreplaceableThese words all describe something that is worth a lot of money or very important to somebody.valuable worth a lot of money:The thieves took three pieces of valuable jewellery.precious rare and worth a lot of money; loved or valued very much:a precious Chinese vase, valued at half a million pounds precious memories of our time togetherpriceless extremely valuable; loved or valued very much:a priceless collection of antiquesirreplaceable too valuable or special to be replacedPatterns valuable/​precious/​priceless/​irreplaceable possessions valuable/​precious/​priceless antiques/​jewels/​jewellery
  2. 2valuable or important and not to be wasted Clean water is a precious commodity in that part of the world. You're wasting precious time!
  3. 3loved or valued very much synonym treasured precious memories/possessions
  4. 4[only before noun] (informal) used to show you are angry that another person thinks something is very important I didn't touch your precious car!
  5. 5(disapproving) (especially of people and their behaviour) very formal, exaggerated and not natural in what you say and do synonym affected
  6. Word Origin Middle English: from Old French precios, from Latin pretiosus ‘of great value’, from pretium ‘price’.Extra examples You are infinitely precious to me. My family is the most precious thing I have in my life. The crown was set with precious stones —diamonds, rubies and emeralds. They found a precious Chinese vase, valued at half a million pounds. They managed to salvage a few precious possessions from the fire. precious metals
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: precious