Precocious vs precious

Photo of author


Precocious and precious are two words that are often confused. We will examine the difference between the definitions of precocious and precious, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

Precocious describes a child who displays an ability, talent or inclination at a younger age than is usual. Precocious describes being more developed or more mature than one’s age would suggest. Precocious is an adjective, the comparative and superlative are more precocious and most precocious. The word precocious is derived from the Latin word praecox which means maturing early.

Precious describes something dear, something treasured, something worth an enormous amount. Precious may be used as a noun or an adjective, the comparative and superlative are more precious and most precious. The word precious is derived from the Old French word precios, which means of great worth.


“Children with precocious puberty have the above signs before they turn eight years old in case of girls, and voice deepening, rapid growth and others before nine in case of boys,” Loan said. (The Viet Nam News)

This is unfortunate, because while the drama is handsome and watchable (with fine dialogue, honest performances and a precocious child actress who plays a precocious child without being overly precocious about it), the flow is mechanical and its heartstring-pulling as obvious as writing in an adorable one-eyed tabby named Fred. (The Globe and Mail)

And ever since, Michelle Bridges has wasted no time in sharing precious clips of everyday life with her new bub in tow. (The Daily Mail)

The FTSE 100 Index closed up 16.56 points to 7,365.5, with precious metals stocks pulling the market higher following a jump in the gold price by 1.2% to 1,271 US dollars per ounce. (The Belfast Telegraph)