1. done with very great haste and without due deliberation

    Synonyms : hasty, overhasty, precipitant, precipitate
  2. extremely steep

    Synonyms : abrupt, sharp
    Examples :
    • the precipitous rapids of the upper river
    • the precipitous hills of Chinese paintings


  1. a very steep cliff

    Type Of : cliff, drop, drop-off


  1. a district of a city or town marked out for administrative purposes

    Type Of : city district


  1. rule of personal conduct

    Synonyms : principle
    Type Of : rule, prescript
  2. a doctrine that is taught

    Synonyms : commandment, teaching
    Type Of : philosophical system, ism, school of thought, philosophy, doctrine
    Examples :
    • he believed all the Christian precepts


  1. (civil law) a law established by following earlier judicial decisions

    Synonyms : case law, common law
    Type Of : civil law
  2. a system of jurisprudence based on judicial precedents rather than statutory laws

    Synonyms : case law, common law
    Type Of : law, jurisprudence
  3. an example that is used to justify similar occurrences at a later time

    Synonyms : case in point
    Type Of : instance, representative, example, illustration
  4. a subject mentioned earlier (preceding in time)

    Type Of : subject, topic, theme
  5. preceding in time, order, or significance


  1. not secure; beset with difficulties

    Synonyms : shaky
  2. affording no ease or reassurance

    Synonyms : unstable
    Examples :
    • a precarious truce
  3. fraught with danger

    Synonyms : parlous, perilous, touch-and-go
    Examples :
    • the precarious life of an undersea diver


  1. a preliminary introduction to a statute or constitution (usually explaining its purpose)

    Type Of : introduction
  2. make a preliminary introduction, usually to a formal document

    Type Of : premise, introduce, precede, preface


  1. an adherent of philosophical pragmatism

    Type Of : realist
  2. a person who takes a practical approach to problems and is concerned primarily with the success or failure of her actions

    Type Of : realist


  1. concerned with practical matters

    Synonyms : matter-of-fact, pragmatical
    Examples :
    • a matter-of-fact (or pragmatic) approach to the problem
  2. of or concerning the theory of pragmatism

    Synonyms : pragmatical
  3. guided by practical experience and observation rather than theory

    Synonyms : hard-nosed, hardheaded, practical
    Examples :
    • not ideology but pragmatic politics
  4. an imperial decree that becomes part of the fundamental law of the land

    Synonyms : pragmatic sanction
    Type Of : imperial decree


  1. having great influence

    Synonyms : powerful
  2. having or wielding force or authority

    Synonyms : strong
    Examples :
    • providing the ground soldier with increasingly potent weapons
  3. (of a male) capable of copulation

    Synonyms : virile
    Antonyms : impotent
  4. having a strong physiological or chemical effect

    Synonyms : stiff, strong
    Antonyms : impotent
    Examples :
    • a potent toxin
    • potent liquor
    • a potent cup of tea