English Dictionary

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precarious (prɪˈkɛərɪəs Pronunciation for precarious



  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

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'

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
Despite his own precarious position, he was still enjoying my predicament.
Reeves, Robert Doubting Thomas
For us, this exercise brings home the precarious nature of many of the United States ' mainstream corporations.
Globe and Mail (2003)
For with a heart bypass already done and his health precarious , time is running out.
India Today (1997)
Gregg Williams, Dave McGinnis and Dick Jauron learned yesterday just how precarious NFL coaching jobs are.
Ottawa Sun (2003)
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)
No, I don't think so, if you keep in mind that everything in the world is precarious , relative.
Independent (1998)
The conditions were so bad and the yacht was in such a precarious position that the rescue would be extremely tricky.
Rob Mundle FATAL STORM (2001)


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