Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Clearly expressed or delineated; definite: The victim gave a precise description of the suspect.
  • adj. Exact, as in performance, execution, or amount; accurate or correct: a precise measurement; a precise instrument.
  • adj. Strictly distinguished from others; very: at that precise moment.
  • adj. Distinct and correct in sound or meaning: precise pronunciation; precise prose.
  • adj. Conforming strictly to rule or proper form: "The setting up of this Maypole was a lamentable spectacle to the precise separatists that lived at New Plymouth” ( Thomas Morton).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. exact, accurate
  • adj. Of experimental results, consistent, clustered close together, agreeing with each other. This does not mean that they cluster near the true, correct, or accurate value.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Having determinate limitations; exactly or sharply defined or stated; definite; exact; nice; not vague or equivocal.
  • adj. Strictly adhering or conforming to rule; very nice or exact; punctilious in conduct or ceremony; formal; ceremonious.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Definite; exact; neither more nor less than; just, with no error.
  • Exactly stated, defined, marked off, or measured, etc.; strictly expressed, stated, etc.
  • Being just what it purports or is alleged to be, and not something else; particular.
  • Containing or committing no error: as, a precise measurement; measuring or reckoning with extreme exactness, so as to reduce the errors in an unusual degree: as, a precise instrument or operator.
  • Exact in conduct or requirements; strict; punctilious; express; formal; over-exact or over-scrupulous; prim; precisian; also, conformed to over-scrupulous requirements.
  • Specifically, Puritan; puritanical.
  • In logic, containing nothing superfiuous.
  • Synonyms Accurate, Correct, Exact, etc. (see accurate), distinct, express.
  • Stiff, ceremonious.
  • Precisely; exactly.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. (of ideas, images, representations, expressions) characterized by perfect conformity to fact or truth ; strictly correct
  • adj. sharply exact or accurate or delimited

Etymologies

Middle English, exact, from Old French precis, condensed, precisely fixed, from Latin praecīsus, past participle of praecīdere, to shorten : prae-, pre- + caedere, to cut; see kaə-id- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

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