One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1With a rapid fall or descent; headlong; steeply, precipitously. Now chiefly figurative.
2With excessive hurry, without deliberation; hastily, rashly.
3With rapid movement, at great speed; suddenly, abruptly.
Mid 17th century; earliest use found in Jeremiah Dyke (bap. 1584, d. 1639), Church of England clergyman. Apparently from precipitant + -ly.
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