precipitating


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Related to precipitating: precipitating cause

pre·cip·i·tate

 (prĭ-sĭp′ĭ-tāt′)
v. pre·cip·i·tat·ed, pre·cip·i·tat·ing, pre·cip·i·tates
v.tr.
1. To cause to happen, especially suddenly or prematurely: an announcement that precipitated a political crisis.
2. To cause to fall down from a height; hurl downward: "The finest bridge in all Peru broke and precipitated five travelers into the gulf below" (Thornton Wilder).
3. To put suddenly into a certain state or condition: "He was like a man who had never known liberty and was all at once precipitated into it" (Taylor Caldwell).
4. Meteorology To cause (a form of water, as rain or snow) to fall from the air.
5. Chemistry To cause (a solid substance) to be separated from a solution.
v.intr.
1. Meteorology To fall from the air as a form of water, such as rain or snow.
2. Chemistry To be separated from a solution as a solid.
adj. (-tĭt)
1. Moving rapidly and heedlessly; speeding headlong.
2. Acting with or marked by excessive haste and lack of due deliberation. See Synonyms at impetuous.
3. Occurring suddenly or unexpectedly.
n. (-tāt′, -tĭt)
1. Chemistry A solid or solid phase separated from a solution.
2. A product resulting from a process, event, or course of action.

[Latin praecipitāre, praecipitāt-, to throw headlong, from praeceps, praecipit-, headlong : prae-, pre- + caput, capit-, head; see kaput- in Indo-European roots.]

pre·cip′i·tate·ly (-tĭt-lē) adv.
pre·cip′i·tate·ness n.
pre·cip′i·ta′tive adj.
pre·cip′i·ta′tor n.
Usage Note: The adjective precipitate and the adverb precipitately were once applied to physical steepness but are now used primarily of rash, headlong actions: Their precipitate entry into the foreign markets led to disaster. He withdrew precipitately from the race. Precipitous currently means "steep" in both literal and figurative senses: the precipitous rapids of the upper river; a precipitous drop in commodity prices. But precipitous and precipitously are also frequently used to mean "abrupt, hasty," which takes them into territory that would ordinarily belong to precipitate and precipitately: their precipitous decision to leave. Many people object to this usage out of a desire to keep precipitate and precipitous distinct, but the extension of meaning from "steep" to "abrupt" is perfectly natural. After all a precipitous increase in reports of measles is also an abrupt or sudden event. In fact, a majority of the Usage Panel now accepts this usage. In our 2004 survey, 65 percent accepted the sentence Pressure to marry may cause precipitous decision-making that is not grounded in the reality of who you are and what you want from life.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.precipitating - bringing on suddenly or abruptly; "the completion of the railroad was the precipitating cause in the extinction of waterborne commerce"
causative - producing an effect; "poverty as a causative factor in crime"
References in classic literature ?
To be sure, the hall was so narrow it was fortunate that they had no piano, for one never could have been got in whole, the dining room was so small that six people were a tight fit, and the kitchen stairs seemed built for the express purpose of precipitating both servants and china pell-mell into the coalbin.
It was met by Chingachgook, whose knife passed across its throat quicker than thought, and then precipitating the motions of the struggling victim, he dashed into the river, down whose stream it glided away, gasping audibly for breath with its ebbing life.
The precipitating manner in which Captain Ahab had quitted the Samuel Enderby of London, had not been unattended with some small violence to his own person.
In my flight through the kitchen I bid Joseph speed to his master; I knocked over Hareton, who was hanging a litter of puppies from a chair-back in the doorway; and, blessed as a soul escaped from purgatory, I bounded, leaped, and flew down the steep road; then, quitting its windings, shot direct across the moor, rolling over banks, and wading through marshes: precipitating myself, in fact, towards the beacon-light of the Grange.
His comrade had been a witness from a neighbouring battlement of the scene betwixt Rebecca and Bois-Guilbert, when she was upon the point of precipitating herself from the top of the tower.
Thou dost mark well, faithful and trusty squire, the gloom of this night, its strange silence, the dull confused murmur of those trees, the awful sound of that water in quest of which we came, that seems as though it were precipitating and dashing itself down from the lofty mountains of the Moon, and that incessant hammering that wounds and pains our ears; which things all together and each of itself are enough to instil fear, dread, and dismay into the breast of Mars himself, much more into one not used to hazards and adventures of the kind.