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Alternative forms[edit]


Borrowing from Late Latin praeceptum, form of praecipiō ‎(to teach), from Latin prae ‎(pre-) + capiō ‎(take).



precept ‎(plural precepts)

  1. A rule or principle, especially one governing personal conduct.
    • 2006: Theodore Dalrymple, The Gift of Language
      • I need hardly point out that Pinker doesn't really believe anything of what he writes, at least if example is stronger evidence of belief than precept.
    • 1891:
      (Can we date this quote?), Hale, Susan, Mexico (The Story of the Nations), volume 27, London: T. Fisher Unwin, page 80:
      • He found a people in the extreme of barbarism living in caves, feeding upon the bloody flesh of animals they killed in hunting; he taught them many things, so that by his example, and for generations after he left them by his precepts, they advanced to high civilization.
  2. (law) A written command, especially a demand for payment.



precept ‎(third-person singular simple present precepts, present participle precepting, simple past and past participle precepted)

  1. (obsolete) To teach by precepts.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Francis Bacon to this entry?)


Old Irish[edit]


Borrowing from Late Latin praeceptum, form of praecipiō ‎(to teach), from prae ‎(pre-) + capiō ‎(take).


  • IPA(key): /ˈpʲrʲeɡʲept/


precept f ‎(genitive precepte)

  1. verbal noun of pridchaid
    • c. 800, Würzburg Glosses on the Pauline Epistles, published in Thesaurus Palaeohibernicus (reprinted 1987, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies), edited and with translations by Whitley Stokes and John Strachan, vol. I, pp. 499–712, Wb. 21c19
      Is oc precept soscéli at·tó.
      I am preaching the gospel.


This noun needs an inflection-table template.


Old Irish mutation
Radical Lenition Nasalization
precept phrecept precept
pronounced with /b(ʲ)-/
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every
possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.