Definition of precipitously in US English:

precipitously

adverb

  • 1Very steeply.

    ‘off the coast, the depth of the sea floor drops precipitously’
    ‘a wall collapsed, causing the floors above to slope precipitously’
    • ‘Rivers snake precipitously below this, and the gorges—steeply cut, heavily wooded, slick with rock scree—are full of wildlife.’
    • ‘To their left, the hillside rose precipitously, covered with scrub brush and evergreen trees.’
    • ‘His image is right, his politics are right, his precipitously craggy face is right.’
    • ‘She leans slightly toward the left, as if to steady her balance in a hallway where walls and floor recede precipitously toward the right.’
    • ‘He had never heard "plunged precipitously to earth from cruising altitude today" on the evening news.’
    • ‘Ahead of us, the ground drops away precipitously into the crater.’
    • ‘This mountain, a prominent object for many miles around, rises precipitously above the village.’
    • ‘The coastal mountain range rises to a high plateau, which breaks precipitously down to the sea.’
    • ‘The area is precipitously steep, rocky, and bleak.’
    • ‘The winning entry takes the form of an 80-meter-high flexible, lightweight tower designed to move with the wind, that soars and bends precipitously over the city.’
    1. 1.1 (with reference to a change to a worse situation) suddenly and dramatically.
      ‘sales dropped precipitously’
      ‘savings rates have fallen precipitously’
      • ‘We have seen our favorable ratings in international polls drop precipitously, even in countries that have been longtime friends of ours.’
      • ‘After the revival movement, the social status of these cultural rituals declined precipitously.’
      • ‘Technology stocks continued to drop precipitously throughout the summer.’
      • ‘The population of the black rhinoceros of East Africa dropped precipitously from 65,000 in 1972 to 1,900 in 1993.’
      • ‘Perhaps the most talked-about anxiety is the fear that world temperatures may rise precipitously.’
      • ‘Women constitute 43 per cent of all US medical students, but their representation within academic medicine drops precipitously throughout their careers.’
      • ‘Real income for the average family has not increased in over 20 years and has declined precipitously in rural areas.’
      • ‘Cranberry supply began to exceed demand on an annual basis, and the market price of cranberries fell precipitously.’
      • ‘The yen began to fall precipitously—from 110 to the dollar to 135—a fall of nearly 23 per cent.’
      • ‘Let's talk about why vegetable yields are declining precipitously.’
  • 2Hastily and without careful consideration.

    ‘several columnists criticized the government for acting precipitously’
    • ‘It is reminiscent of McClellan's shrillness against his civilian overseers who precipitously wanted an odious slavery ended.’
    • ‘The facility precipitously closed its doors in mid-May, citing a lack of profits and funding.’
    • ‘Law enforcement officials forced particularly vulnerable women to move precipitously to this neighbourhood.’
    • ‘Let that teach you not to move precipitously!’
    • ‘After a period of calm, I was allowed to speak again, to apologise for behaving precipitously, and to explain where the money had gone.’
    • ‘The opening ceremony was precipitously cancelled just 24 hours before the event.’
    • ‘It seems unlikely that this is the work of Bach, whatever was precipitously claimed with great publicity in 1985.’
    • ‘I assume that they have examined every alternative and proceeded not precipitously but thoughtfully.’
    • ‘The author precipitously blames bimetallism's failure on the incompetence of the movement's leaders.’
    • ‘When a beloved CEO leaves precipitously, he bursts the shared illusion that you'll have him forever.’

Pronunciation

precipitously

/prəˈsipədəslē//prəˈsɪpədəsli/