Meaning of PRECIPITATE in English

I. pri-ˈsi-pə-ˌtāt verb

( -tat·ed ; -tat·ing )

Etymology: Latin praecipitatus, past participle of praecipitare, from praecipit-, praeceps

Date: 1528

transitive verb


a. : to throw violently : hurl

the quandaries into which the release of nuclear energy has precipitated mankind — A. B. Arons

b. : to throw down

2. : to bring about especially abruptly

precipitate a scandal that would end with his expulsion — John Cheever


a. : to cause to separate from solution or suspension

b. : to cause (vapor) to condense and fall or deposit

intransitive verb


a. : to fall headlong

b. : to fall or come suddenly into some condition

2. : to move or act precipitately


a. : to separate from solution or suspension

b. : to condense from a vapor and fall as rain or snow

• pre·cip·i·ta·tive -ˌtā-tiv adjective

• pre·cip·i·ta·tor -ˌtā-tər noun

II. pri-ˈsi-pə-tət, -ˌtāt noun

Etymology: New Latin praecipitatum, from Latin, neuter of praecipitatus

Date: 1594

1. : a substance separated from a solution or suspension by chemical or physical change usually as an insoluble amorphous or crystalline solid

2. : a product, result, or outcome of some process or action

III. pri-ˈsi-pə-tət adjective

Date: 1615


a. : falling, flowing, or rushing with steep descent

b. : precipitous , steep

2. : exhibiting violent or unwise speed

• pre·cip·i·tate·ly adverb

• pre·cip·i·tate·ness noun


precipitate , headlong , abrupt , impetuous , sudden mean showing undue haste or unexpectedness. precipitate stresses lack of due deliberation and implies prematureness of action

the army's precipitate withdrawal

headlong stresses rashness and lack of forethought

a headlong flight from arrest

abrupt stresses curtness and a lack of warning or ceremony

an abrupt refusal

impetuous stresses extreme impatience or impulsiveness

an impetuous lover proposing marriage

sudden stresses unexpectedness and sharpness or violence of action

flew into a sudden rage

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate English vocabulary.      Энциклопедический словарь английского языка Merriam Webster.