English

Definition of precipitate verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

     

    precipitate

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//prɪˈsɪpɪteɪt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//prɪˈsɪpɪteɪt//
     
    (formal)Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they precipitate
    BrE BrE//prɪˈsɪpɪteɪt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//prɪˈsɪpɪteɪt//
     
    he / she / it precipitates
    BrE BrE//prɪˈsɪpɪteɪts//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//prɪˈsɪpɪteɪts//
     
    past simple precipitated
    BrE BrE//prɪˈsɪpɪteɪtɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//prɪˈsɪpɪteɪtɪd//
     
    past participle precipitated
    BrE BrE//prɪˈsɪpɪteɪtɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//prɪˈsɪpɪteɪtɪd//
     
    -ing form precipitating
    BrE BrE//prɪˈsɪpɪteɪtɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//prɪˈsɪpɪteɪtɪŋ//
     
     
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  1. 1precipitate something to make something, especially something bad, happen suddenly or sooner than it should synonym bring on, spark (1) His resignation precipitated a leadership crisis.
  2. 2precipitate somebody/something into something to suddenly force somebody/something into a particular state or condition The assassination of the president precipitated the country into war.
  3. Word Origin early 16th cent.: from Latin praecipitat- ‘thrown headlong’, from the verb praecipitare, from praeceps, praecip(it)- ‘headlong’, from prae ‘before’ + caput ‘head’. The original sense of the verb was ‘hurl down, send violently’; hence ‘cause to move rapidly’, which gave rise to the current verb and noun senses (early 17th cent.).
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: precipitate

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