English Dictionary

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English Dictionary

precarious  (prɪˈkɛərɪəs



  1. liable to failure or catastrophe; insecure; perilous
  2. (archaic) dependent on another's will

Derived Forms

preˈcariously  adverb
preˈcariousness  noun

Word Origin

C17: from Latin precārius obtained by begging (hence, dependent on another's will), from prex prayer1


View thesaurus entry
= insecure, dangerous, uncertain, tricky, risky, doubtful, dubious, unsettled, dodgy (British) (Australian) ( & New Zealand) (informal), unstable, unsure, hazardous, shaky, hairy (slang), perilous, touch and go, dicey (informal) (mainly British), chancy (informal), built on sand, shonky (Australian) ( & New Zealand) (informal)

Translations for 'precarious'

  • British English: precarious If your situation is precarious, you are not in complete control of events and might fail in what you are doing at any moment. ADJECTIVEOur financial situation had become precarious.
  • Brazilian Portuguese: precário
  • Chinese: 不安定的
  • European Spanish: precario precaria
  • French: précaire
  • German: prekär
  • Italian: precario precaria
  • Japanese: 不安定な
  • Korean: 위태로운
  • Portuguese: precário precária
  • Spanish: precario precaria

Example Sentences Including 'precarious'

It was difficult to imagine a more precarious lifeline than that which tethered the Spix's Macaw to existence in the Melância Creek.
Tony Juniper SPIX'S MACAW: The Race to Save the World's Rarest Bird (2002)
Despite his own precarious position, he was still enjoying my predicament.
Reeves, Robert Doubting Thomas
Amy spent her days with her father, and her concern for him heightened the precarious , other-worldly happiness she fled to at night.
Thomas, Rosie The White Dove


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