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



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BrE BrE//prɪˈsɪpɪtət//
; NAmE NAmE//prɪˈsɪpɪtət//
(formal) (of an action or a decision) happening very quickly or suddenly and usually without enough care and thought the precipitate resignation of the director To force a decision now would be precipitate.
Word Originearly 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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