Definition of precise in English:



  • 1Marked by exactness and accuracy of expression or detail.

    ‘precise directions’
    ‘I want as precise a time of death as I can get’
    • ‘Tomb paintings illustrate wine production amply, although the precise details are not always clear.’
    • ‘Get precise directions if you are picking up a hire car at the airport.’
    • ‘Whatever its precise direction, economic reconstruction was an urgent priority.’
    • ‘It also requires that any interference with freedom of expression must be precise enough that it can be understood.’
    • ‘Asked if either of those substances were relevant to the treatment of colic his answer is precise and unequivocal.’
    • ‘His direction is lean and precise, but allows his characters and scenes to expand.’
    • ‘Can there be a clearer, more precise illustration of a genuine conflict of interest?’
    • ‘It is not necessary to specify any precise words for such a direction.’
    • ‘Mr Justice Jack was very clear and precise in his judgement saying the council's decision was right and lawful.’
    • ‘Although it may seem obvious what rock is, formulating a precise definition is not straightforward.’
    • ‘Sharp questions about precise value for money, given all the additional billions, were also hard to answer.’
    • ‘Write in a precise, clear style and stick to the point, only including relevant information.’
    • ‘Again the desire to express and evoke tender, inner feelings was hampered by precise, clear action.’
    • ‘The thing is, I'm perfectly happy to follow clear precise instructions to fix things.’
    • ‘Obviously his portraits involved precise observation, but the settings tend to be spectral.’
    exact, accurate, correct, error-free, pinpoint, specific, detailed, explicit, clear-cut, unambiguous, meticulous, close, strict, definite, particular, express
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    1. 1.1(of a person) exact, accurate, and careful about details.
      ‘the director was precise with his camera positions’
      • ‘Anyone having a florid imagination or a tendency to exaggerate is less likely to be a reliable witness than one who is precise and careful.’
      • ‘He was a very precise man, and everything always had to go as planned or not get done at all.’
      • ‘He's gritty, he's precise and, perhaps most importantly, he's not doing this for the love of it.’
      • ‘On the short holes he is deadly precise and it is very rarely that one hears that he has strayed from the green with his tee shot.’
      • ‘He was so precise about it too, almost like a surgeon would be when dealing with a patient.’
      • ‘Les was meticulous and precise, particularly in his use of English.’
      • ‘He was very precise when it came to how much of what his animals ate.’
      • ‘We are now sanitized and correct, factual and precise, but tragically bereft of relationship.’
      • ‘At the press conference announcing his decision to join Vinayan's new film, he was precise and clear.’
      • ‘She was precise, logical, the possessor of the uncluttered desk and uncluttered mind.’
      • ‘Christopher is a slender and precise man in a collarless shirt and very pressed trousers.’
      meticulous, careful, exact, scrupulous, punctilious, conscientious, particular, exacting, methodical, strict, rigorous
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    2. 1.2[attributive]Used to emphasize that one is referring to an exact and particular thing.
      ‘at that precise moment the car stopped’
      • ‘I think it would be helpful if I very briefly refer to the precise finding of that employment tribunal.’
      • ‘The keystones of the arches bear inscriptions indicating their precise location within the structure.’
      • ‘Once again - at this precise moment - young Michael runs forward and pipes up.’
      • ‘Of course it was dramatic at this precise moment, but it wouldn't last long, and then we'd just put it down as a bad experience.’
      • ‘It is to be understood that the precise location of the new station has been decided and that the designs have been finalised.’
      • ‘What exactly they were doing at that precise location and time?’
      • ‘His father left, letting go of the door at the precise moment to let it fall quietly shut.’
      • ‘If I chose that way and was extremely unlucky, it might crash down at that precise moment, killing me inconveniently.’
      • ‘No precise moment can be specified; like much else in medicine it will be a matter of judgment.’
      • ‘It sold the company in March for so little it did not have to disclose the precise figure.’
      • ‘How can a bird with such a small brain remember the precise locations of so many food caches?’
      • ‘At that precise moment, the tree seemed to blossom for the very first time.’
      exact, particular, very, specific, actual, distinct
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  • to be precise

    • Used to indicate that one is now giving more exact or detailed information.

      ‘there were not many—five, to be precise’
      • ‘The Venetian cost about as much as Venice probably did: $1.4 billion, to be precise.’
      • ‘A little under a minute later - 55.03 secs to be precise - what was left of her career lay in tatters.’
      • ‘Hannah Honner has a lot of sisters at home, five to be precise and just one brother called William.’
      • ‘The nearby Tin Pub is, as the name suggests, built of tin - or rather corrugated iron and metal sheets, to be precise.’
      • ‘But money buys quality and it didn't take long for that to manifest itself - seven minutes to be precise.’
      • ‘I got in touch with a local artist - a painter actually, well, my wife to be precise - and asked her if she had any ideas.’
      • ‘Mine took more persuasion, or rather frantic hacking to be precise.’
      • ‘South Africa has more Nobel laureates than any other African country - six to be precise.’
      • ‘It was a Saturday night - Valentine's night to be precise - and six of us descended on Manchester for dinner.’
      • ‘Only we're in Sussex, a few miles west of Guildford, to be precise, which sounds rather less romantic than rural France.’


Late Middle English: from Old French prescis, from Latin praecis- cut short from the verb praecidere, from prae in advance + caedere to cut.