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From Latin praecox (premature, precocious, ripe before time, early ripe), from praecoquere (to ripen beforehand, ripen fully, also boil beforehand), from prae (before) + coquere (to cook, boil, ripen).


  • enPR: prĭ-kō'shəs, IPA(key): /pɹəˈkəʊʃəs/
    • (file)
  • Rhymes: -əʊʃəs


precocious (comparative more precocious, superlative most precocious)

  1. Characterized by exceptionally early development or maturity.
    The precocious plant was already blooming flowers by day 4.
    • 2014 November 14, Stephen Halliday, “Scotland 1-0 Republic of Ireland: Maloney the hero”, in The Scotsman[1]:
      Scotland’s most encouraging early source of an attacking threat was Andrew Robertson as the precocious left-back charged forward to good effect on a couple of occasions.
    • 1992, Rudolf M[athias] Schuster, The Hepaticae and Anthocerotae of North America: East of the Hundredth Meridian, volume V, New York, N.Y.: Columbia University Press, →ISBN, page 5:
      Both groups, also, have already evolved precocious (intracapsular) spore germination.
  2. Exhibiting advanced skills and aptitudes at an abnormally early age.
    The precocious child began reading the newspaper at age four.
    • 1964, Sherman Brothers, “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”, Mary Poppins, Walt Disney Mary: Even though the sound of it is something quite atrocious / If you say it loud enough you'll always sound precocious.



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