precarious


Also found in: Thesaurus, Wikipedia.

pre·car·i·ous

 (prĭ-kâr′ē-əs)
adj.
1. Dangerously lacking in security or stability: a precarious posture; precarious footing on the ladder.
2. Subject to chance or unknown conditions: "His kingdom was still precarious; the Danes far from subdued" (Christopher Brooke).
3. Based on uncertain, unwarranted, or unproved premises: a precarious solution to a difficult problem.
4. Archaic Dependent on the will or favor of another.

[From Latin precārius, obtained by entreaty, uncertain, from precārī, to entreat; see pray.]

pre·car′i·ous·ly adv.
pre·car′i·ous·ness n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

precarious

(prɪˈkɛərɪəs)
adj
1. liable to failure or catastrophe; insecure; perilous
2. archaic dependent on another's will
[C17: from Latin precārius obtained by begging (hence, dependent on another's will), from prex prayer1]
preˈcariously adv
preˈcariousness n
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014

pre•car•i•ous

(prɪˈkɛər i əs)

adj.
1. dependent on circumstances beyond one's control; uncertain: a precarious livelihood.
2. dangerous because insecure or unsteady.
3. based upon insufficient evidence.
4. dependent on the will of another.
[1640–50; < Latin precārius. See prayer1]
pre•car′i•ous•ly, adv.
pre•car′i•ous•ness, n.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.precarious - affording no ease or reassurance; "a precarious truce"
uneasy - lacking a sense of security or affording no ease or reassurance; "farmers were uneasy until rain finally came"; "uneasy about his health"; "gave an uneasy laugh"; "uneasy lies the head that wears the crown"; "an uneasy coalition government"; "an uneasy calm"; "an uneasy silence fell on the group"
2.precarious - fraught with dangerprecarious - fraught with danger; "dangerous waters"; "a parlous journey on stormy seas"; "a perilous voyage across the Atlantic in a small boat"; "the precarious life of an undersea diver"; "dangerous surgery followed by a touch-and-go recovery"
dangerous, unsafe - involving or causing danger or risk; liable to hurt or harm; "a dangerous criminal"; "a dangerous bridge"; "unemployment reached dangerous proportions"
3.precarious - not secure; beset with difficulties; "a shaky marriage"
unsafe, insecure - lacking in security or safety; "his fortune was increasingly insecure"; "an insecure future"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.

precarious

adjective
1. insecure, dangerous, uncertain, tricky, risky, doubtful, dubious, unsettled, dodgy (Brit., Austral., & N.Z. informal), unstable, unsure, hazardous, shaky, hairy (slang), perilous, touch and go, dicey (informal, chiefly Brit.), chancy (informal), built on sand Our financial situation had become precarious.
insecure certain, safe, secure, stable, dependable
2. dangerous, unstable, shaky, slippery, insecure, unsafe, unreliable, unsteady They crawled up a precarious rope ladder.
dangerous secure, stable, steady, reliable
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002

precarious

adjective
1. Not physically steady or firm:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Translations
غَيْر ثابِت أو مُسْتَقِر
nejistýriskantní
risikabelusikker
ótryggur, tvísÿnn
apšaubāmsnedrošsriskants
güvensizrizikolu

precarious

[prɪˈkɛərɪəs] ADJ [health, position] → precario
they are in a precarious financial situationse hallan en una situación económica precaria
it could upset the precarious balance of the peace negotiationspodría alterar el precario equilibrio de las negociaciones de paz
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005

precarious

[prɪˈkɛəriəs] adj
(= unsteady) [ladder] → instable
(= uncertain) [situation, existence, job] → précaire
to be in a precarious position → être en situation précaire
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005

precarious

adjunsicher; situation also, relationshipprekär; theory, assertionanfechtbar; positionunsicher, schwankend; balanceunsicher, schwankend, instabil; peacegefährdet, instabil, unsicher; at a precarious anglein einem gefährlich aussehenden Winkel; that cup/that shelf looks somewhat precariousdie Tasse/das Regal sieht ziemlich gefährlich aus
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007

precarious

[prɪˈkɛərɪəs] adjprecario/a
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995

precarious

(priˈkeəriəs) adjective
insecure; risky or dangerous.
preˈcariously adverb
preˈcariousness noun
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.

precarious

a. precario-a.
English-Spanish Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012
References in classic literature ?
I wish you could get Reginald home again on any plausible pretence; he is not at all disposed to leave us, and I have given him as many hints of my father's precarious state of health as common decency will allow me to do in my own house.
Their natural good-will is probably heightened by a community of adventure and hardship in their precarious and wandering life.
The position of Alexey Alexandrovitch, owing to this, and partly owing to the contempt lavished on him for his wife's infidelity, became very precarious. And in this position he took an important resolution.
There was a brief lull in the storm during which one of the crew attempted to reach his quarters, after releasing the lashings which had held him to the precarious safety of the deck.
The more such inferences are examined, the more precarious they are seen to be.
It is a precarious kind of property, too; a succession of total eclipses would probably ruin this tavern.
You may also tell him that the mother of Linton desired him to remain under my guardianship; and, at present, his health is very precarious.'
The pockets of the farmers, on the other hand, will reluctantly yield but scanty supplies, in the unwelcome shape of impositions on their houses and lands; and personal property is too precarious and invisible a fund to be laid hold of in any other way than by the inperceptible agency of taxes on consumption.
This, at best, is but a precarious security; because a power independent of the society may as well espouse the unjust views of the major, as the rightful interests of the minor party, and may possibly be turned against both parties.
His situation was too precarious to allow him even time to reflect on any thought but one.
One's safest course that day was to clasp a railing and hang on; walking was too precarious a pastime.
With some misgivings I shortly afterward cast my eyes upward toward the precarious ledge which ran before my cave, for it seemed to me quite beyond all reason to expect a dainty modern belle to essay the perils of that frightful climb.