Webster's Dictionary, 1913

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Precation noun [ Latin precatio .] The act of praying; supplication; entreaty. Cotton.

Precative, Precatory adjective [ Latin precativus , precatorius , from precari to pray. See Precarious .] Suppliant; beseeching. Bp. Hopkins.

Precatory words (Law) , words of recommendation, request, entreaty, wish, or expectation, employed in wills, as distinguished from express directions ; -- in some cases creating a trust. Jarman.

Precaution noun [ French précation , Latin praecautio , from praecavere , praecautum , to guard against beforehand; prae before + cavere be on one's guard. See Pre- , and Caution .]
1. Previous caution or care; caution previously employed to prevent mischief or secure good; as, his life was saved by precaution .

They [ ancient philosophers] treasured up their supposed discoveries with miserable precaution .
J. H. Newman.

2. A measure taken beforehand to ward off evil or secure good or success; a precautionary act; as, to take precautions against accident.

Precaution transitive verb [ Confer French précautionner .]
1. To warn or caution beforehand. Locke.

2. To take precaution against. [ R.] Dryden.

Precautional adjective Precautionary.

Precautionary adjective Of or pertaining to precaution, or precautions; as, precautionary signals.

Precautious adjective Taking or using precaution; precautionary. -- Pre*cau"tious*ly , adverb -- Pre*cau"*tious*ness , noun

Precedaneous adjective Preceding; antecedent; previous. [ Obsolete] Hammond.

Precede transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Preceded ; present participle & verbal noun Preceding .] [ Latin praecedere , praecessum ; prae before + cedere to go, to be in motion: confer French préceder . See Pre- , and Cede .]
1. To go before in order of time; to occur first with relation to anything. "Harm precedes not sin." Milton.

2. To go before in place, rank, or importance.

3. To cause to be preceded; to preface; to introduce; -- used with by or with before the instrumental object. [ R.]

It is usual to precede hostilities by a public declaration.
Kent.

Precedence, Precedency noun [ Confer French précédence . See Precede .]
1. The act or state of preceding or going before in order of time; priority; as, one event has precedence of another.

2. The act or state of going or being before in rank or dignity, or the place of honor; right to a more honorable place; superior rank; as, barons have precedence of commoners.

Which of them [ the different desires] has the precedency in determining the will to the next action?
Locke.

Syn. -- Antecedence; priority; preëminence; preference; superiority.

Precedent adjective [ Latin praecedens , -entis , present participle of praecedere : confer French précédent . See Precede .] Going before; anterior; preceding; antecedent; as, precedent services. Shak. "A precedent injury." Bacon.

Condition precedent (Law) , a condition which precede the vesting of an estate, or the accruing of a right.

Precedent noun
1. Something done or said that may serve as an example to authorize a subsequent act of the same kind; an authoritative example.

Examples for cases can but direct as precedents only.
Hooker.

2. A preceding circumstance or condition; an antecedent; hence, a prognostic; a token; a sign. [ Obsolete]

3. A rough draught of a writing which precedes a finished copy. [ Obsolete] Shak.

4. (Law) A judicial decision which serves as a rule for future determinations in similar or analogous cases; an authority to be followed in courts of justice; forms of proceeding to be followed in similar cases. Wharton.

Syn. -- Example; antecedent. -- Precedent , Example . An example in a similar case which may serve as a rule or guide, but has no authority out of itself. A precedent is something which comes down to us from the past with the sanction of usage and of common consent. We quote examples in literature, and precedents in law.

Precedented adjective Having a precedent; authorized or sanctioned by an example of a like kind. Walpole.

Precedential adjective Of the nature of a precedent; having force as an example for imitation; as, precedential transactions.

All their actions in that time are not precedential to warrant posterity.
Fuller.

Precedently adverb Beforehand; antecedently.

Preceding adjective
1. Going before; -- opposed to following .

2. (Astron.) In the direction toward which stars appear to move. See Following , 2.

Precel transitive verb & i. [ See Precellence .] To surpass; to excel; to exceed. [ Obsolete] Howell.

Precellence, Precellency noun [ Latin praecellentia , from praecellens , present participle of praecellere to excel, surpass: confer Old French precellence .] Excellence; superiority. [ Obsolete] Sheldon.

Precellent adjective [ Latin praecellens , present participle] Excellent; surpassing. [ Obsolete] Holland.

Precentor noun [ Latin praecentor , from praecinere to sing before; prae before + canere to sing. See Chant .] A leader of a choir; a directing singer. Specifically: (a) The leader of the choir in a cathedral; -- called also the chanter or master of the choir. Hook. (b) The leader of the congregational singing in Scottish and other churches.

Precentorship noun The office of a precentor.

Precept noun [ Latin praeceptum , from praecipere to take beforehand, to instruct, teach; prae before + capere to take: confer French précepte . See Pre- , and Capacious .]
1. Any commandment, instruction, or order intended as an authoritative rule of action; esp., a command respecting moral conduct; an injunction; a rule.

For precept must be upon precept .
Isa. xxviii. 10.

No arts are without their precepts .
Dryden.

2. (Law) A command in writing; a species of writ or process. Burrill.

Syn. -- Commandment; injunction; mandate; law; rule; direction; principle; maxim. See Doctrine .

Precept transitive verb To teach by precepts. [ Obsolete] Bacon.

Preceptial adjective Preceptive. [ Obsolete]

[ Passion] would give preceptial medicine to rage.
Shak.

Preception noun [ Latin praeceptio .] A precept. [ R.] Bp. Hall.

Preceptive adjective [ Latin praeceptivus .] Containing or giving precepts; of the nature of precepts; didactic; as, the preceptive parts of the Scriptures.

The lesson given us here is preceptive to us.
L'Estrange.

Preceptor noun [ Latin praeceptor , from praecipere to teach: confer French précepteur . See Precept .]
1. One who gives commands, or makes rules; specifically, the master or principal of a school; a teacher; an instructor.

2. The head of a preceptory among the Knights Templars. Sir W. Scott.

Preceptorial adjective Of or pertaining to a preceptor.

Preceptory adjective Preceptive. "A law preceptory ." Anderson (1573).

Preceptory noun ; plural Preceptories . [ Late Latin praeceptoria an estate assigned to a preceptor, from Latin praeceptor a commander, ruler, teacher, in Late Latin , procurator, administrator among the Knights Templars. See Preceptor .] A religious house of the Knights Templars, subordinate to the temple or principal house of the order in London. See Commandery , noun , 2.

Preceptress noun A woman who is the principal of a school; a female teacher.

Precession noun [ Latin praecedere , praecessum , to go before: confer French précession . See Precede .] The act of going before, or forward.

Lunisolar precession . (Astron.) See under Lunisolar . -- Planetary precession , that part of the precession of the equinoxes which depends on the action of the planets alone. -- Precession of the equinoxes (Astron.) , the slow backward motion of the equinoctial points along the ecliptic, at the rate of 50.2″ annually, caused by the action of the sun, moon, and planets, upon the protuberant matter about the earth's equator, in connection with its diurnal rotation; -- so called because either equinox, owing to its westerly motion, comes to the meridian sooner each day than the point it would have occupied without the motion of precession, and thus precedes that point continually with reference to the time of transit and motion.

Precessional adjective Of or pertaining to pression; as, the precessional movement of the equinoxes.

Precessor noun [ Latin praecessor .] A predecessor. [ Obsolete] Fuller.

Précieuse noun An affected woman of polite society, esp. one of the literary women of the French salons of the 17th century.

Precinct noun [ Late Latin praecinctum , from Latin praecingere , praecinctum , to gird about, to encompass; prae before + cingere to gird, surround. See Pre- , and Cincture .]
1. The limit or exterior line encompassing a place; a boundary; a confine; limit of jurisdiction or authority; -- often in the plural; as, the precincts of a state. "The precincts of light." Milton.

2. A district within certain boundaries; a minor territorial or jurisdictional division; as, an election precinct ; a school precinct .

3. A parish or prescribed territory attached to a church, and taxed for its support. [ U.S.]

The parish, or precinct , shall proceed to a new choice.
Laws of Massachusetts.

Preciosity noun Preciousness; something precious. [ Obsolete] Sir T. Browne.

Preciosity noun ; plural - ties . [ French préciosité , Old French also precieuseté .] Fastidious refinement, esp. in language; specif., the affected purism and sententiousness characteristic of the French précieuses of the 17th century.

He had the fastidiousness, the preciosity , the love of archaisms, of your true decadent.
Latin Douglas.

Precious adjective [ Old French precious , precius , precios , French précieux , Latin pretiosus , from pretium price, worth, value. See Price .]
1. Of great price; costly; as, a precious stone. "The precious bane." Milton.

2. Of great value or worth; very valuable; highly esteemed; dear; beloved; as, precious recollections.

She is more precious than rules.
Prov. iii. 15.

Many things which are most precious are neglected only because the value of them lieth hid.
Hooker.

Also used ironically; as, a precious rascal.

3. Particular; fastidious; overnice. [ Obsolete]

Lest that precious folk be with me wroth.
Chaucer.

Precious metals , the uncommon and highly valuable metals, esp. gold and silver. -- Precious stones , gems; jewels.

Precious adjective Particular; fastidious; overnice; overrefined. Confer Précieuse , Preciosity .

Lest that precious folk be with me wroth.
Chaucer.

Elaborate embroidery of precious language.
Saintsbury.

Preciously adverb In a precious manner; expensively; extremely; dearly. Also used ironically.

Preciousness noun The quality or state of being precious; costliness; dearness.

Precipe noun (Law) See Præcipe , and Precept .

Precipice noun [ French précipice , Latin praecipitium , from praeceps , -cipitis , headlong; prae before + caput , capitis , the head. See Pre- , and Chief .]
1. A sudden or headlong fall. [ Obsolete] Fuller.

2. A headlong steep; a very steep, perpendicular, or overhanging place; an abrupt declivity; a cliff.

Where wealth like fruit on precipices grew.
Dryden.

Precipient adjective [ Latin praecipiens , present participle See Precept .] Commanding; directing.

Precipitability noun The quality or state of being precipitable.

Precipitable adjective Capable of being precipitated, or cast to the bottom, as a substance in solution. See Precipitate , noun (Chemistry)

Precipitance, Precipitancy noun [ From Precipitant .] The quality or state of being precipitant, or precipitate; headlong hurry; excessive or rash haste in resolving, forming an opinion, or executing a purpose; precipitation; as, the precipitancy of youth. " Precipitance of judgment." I. Watts.

Precipitant adjective [ Latin praecipitans , -antis , present participle of praecipitare : confer French précipitant . See Precipitate .]
1. Falling or rushing headlong; rushing swiftly, violently, or recklessly; moving precipitately.

They leave their little lives
Above the clouds, precipitant to earth.
J. Philips.

Should he return, that troop so blithe and bold,
Precipitant in fear would wing their flight.
Pope.

2. Unexpectedly or foolishly brought on or hastened; rashly hurried; hasty; sudden; reckless. Jer. Taylor. " Precipitant rebellion." Eikon Basilike.

Precipitant noun (Chemistry) Any force or reagent which causes the formation of a precipitate.