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From prae (before) +‎ -ceps (headed).



praeceps (genitive praecipitis); third-declension one-termination adjective

  1. head first, headlong
  2. steep, precipitous
  3. (figuratively) hasty, rash, precipitate


Third-declension one-termination adjective.

Number Singular Plural
Case / Gender Masc./Fem. Neuter Masc./Fem. Neuter
Nominative praeceps praecipitēs praecipitia
Genitive praecipitis praecipitium
Dative praecipitī praecipitibus
Accusative praecipitem praeceps praecipitēs praecipitia
Ablative praecipitī praecipitibus
Vocative praeceps praecipitēs praecipitia

Derived terms[edit]


  • English: precipitous
  • Portuguese: precípite


praeceps (not comparable)

  1. headlong


praeceps n (genitive praecipitis); third declension

  1. a precipice, steep place
  2. extreme danger


Third-declension noun (neuter, imparisyllabic non-i-stem).

Case Singular Plural
Nominative praeceps praecipita
Genitive praecipitis praecipitum
Dative praecipitī praecipitibus
Accusative praeceps praecipita
Ablative praecipite praecipitibus
Vocative praeceps praecipita



  • praeceps in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • praeceps in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • praeceps in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré Latin-Français, Hachette
  • Carl Meissner; Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[1], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • to fall down headlong: praecipitem ire; in praeceps deferri
    • to bring a man to ruin; to destroy: aliquem affligere, perdere, pessumdare, in praeceps dare
    • to be ruined, undone: praecipitem agi, ire
    • to be short-tempered; to be prone to anger: praecipitem in iram esse (Liv. 23. 7)
    • to be carried away by something: praecipitem ferri aliqua re (Verr. 5. 46. 121)
    • headlong flight: fuga effusa, praeceps (Liv. 30. 5)
    • to flee headlong: praecipitem se fugae mandare