Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search


Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Latin praecipitatus, from praecipitō (throw down, hurl down, throw headlong), from praeceps (head foremost, headlong), from prae (before) + caput (head).




common but often proscribed:


precipitate (third-person singular simple present precipitates, present participle precipitating, simple past and past participle precipitated)

  1. (transitive) To make something happen suddenly and quickly.
    Synonyms: advance, accelerate, hasten, speed up
    to precipitate a journey, or a conflict
    it precipitated their success
    • 1737, Richard Glover, Leonidas Book 4
      Back to his sight precipitates her steps.
    • 1625, Francis Bacon, Of Ambition
      if they be stout and daring, it may precipitate their designs, and prove dangerous
  2. (transitive) To throw an object or person from a great height.
    Synonyms: throw, fling, cast; see also Thesaurus:throw
  3. (transitive) To send violently into a certain state or condition.
    we were precipitated into a conflict
  4. (intransitive, chemistry) To come out of a liquid solution into solid form.
    Adding the acid will cause the salt to precipitate.
  5. (transitive, chemistry) To separate a substance out of a liquid solution into solid form.
  6. (intransitive, meteorology) To have water in the air fall to the ground, for example as rain, snow, sleet, or hail; be deposited as condensed droplets.
    Troponyms: rain, snow, hail
    It will precipitate tomorrow, but we don't know whether as rain or snow.
  7. (transitive) To cause (water in the air) to condense or fall to the ground.
  8. (intransitive) To fall headlong.
  9. (intransitive) To act too hastily; to be precipitous.
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]


precipitate (comparative more precipitate, superlative most precipitate)

  1. headlong; falling steeply or vertically.
    • 1718, Prior, Matthew, Solomon, book 2, lines 853–854:
      When the full stores their ancient bounds disdain, / Precipitate the furious torrent flows.
    Synonyms: headlong, precipitant, precipitous
  2. Very steep; precipitous.
    Synonym: brant
  3. With a hasty impulse; hurried; headstrong.
    Synonyms: hotheaded, impetuous, rash; see also Thesaurus:reckless
  4. Moving with excessive speed or haste; overly hasty.
    The king was too precipitate in declaring war.
    a precipitate case of disease
    • 1926, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Land of Mist[1]:
      'One moment!" said Malone. "I beg, sir, that you will not be precipitate. I value your friendship too much to risk the loss of it if it can, in any way, be avoided."
  5. Performed very rapidly or abruptly.
    Synonyms: abrupt, precipitous, subitaneous; see also Thesaurus:sudden
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From New Latin praecipitatum. Doublet of precipitato.



precipitate (plural precipitates)

  1. a product resulting from a process, event, or course of action
    • 1975, Saul Bellow, Humboldt's Gift [Avon ed., 1976, p. 381]:
      As for the musculature it is a precipitate of Spirit and the signature of the cosmos is in it.
  2. (chemistry) a solid that exits the liquid phase of a solution

Related terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]




precipitate f pl

  1. feminine plural of precipitato



  1. second-person plural present indicative of precipitare
  2. second-person plural imperative of precipitare


precipitate f pl

  1. feminine plural past participle of precipitare