One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1(of a child) having developed certain abilities or proclivities at an earlier age than usual.‘he was a precocious, solitary boy’
advanced, old beyond one's years, forward, ahead of one's peers, mature, prematurely developed, ahead, gifted, talented, clever, intelligent, quickView synonyms
- ‘She was a precocious child, it would seem, and already demonstrating where her adult interests would come to lie.’
- ‘A precocious child, he read voraciously and soon revealed an extraordinary aptitude for languages.’
- ‘As a precocious teenager, and now as a student, Millie has always shared her wild lifestyle with Jamie.’
- ‘If I had my way I'd ban the most precocious kids from reading anything but Enid Blyton.’
- ‘A precocious composer (his earliest anthems date from c. 1663), he was sent to France and Italy about 1664 to study the latest fashions in music.’
- ‘There's still something of the precocious child about him.’
- ‘As a boy, Freud was intellectually precocious and an extremely hard worker.’
- ‘The point is made early on that Daniel is an intellectually precocious child.’
- 1.1 (of behavior or ability) indicative of early development.‘a precocious talent for computing’
- ‘The 27-year-old grew up in bleak times for Scottish sport, when there was neither the political will nor the financial support to nurture precocious talent.’
- ‘He is an absolutely precocious talent, and as nice a person as I could wish to be associated with.’
- ‘A precocious talent, he joined New York City Ballet aged 16 and after a season with Zurich Ballet returned as soloist, becoming principal in 1995.’
- ‘Although he's initially terrified at the prospect of being a father, Angela soon has a calming effect on him, despite her precocious, junk food-fuelled behaviour.’
- ‘Olivier Messiaen was born in Avignon, France in 1908 into a highly scholarly family and showed precocious musical talent.’
- ‘Of the two latest biographers, it is Nicholas Roe, a professor of English at St Andrews University, who writes most expansively about the poet's ancestry and precocious development as a poet.’
- ‘Neil Tarrant, on loan from Aston Villa, has provided the impetus with his precocious ability to score important goals.’
- ‘When you realise how precocious was the talent of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, you can only pray he was a nice kid.’
- ‘As a child growing up in Moray, Caledonian Thistle's manager was nicknamed Pele because of the precocious talent which saw him signed by Manchester United as a 15-year-old.’
- ‘He seems to have been aware of this from adolescence: certainly from the time when, in his early twenties, he lived and worked in Rome under the patronage of a bevy of cardinals who admired his precocious talents.’
- ‘His precocious ability recognised, he would go on to win the same scholarship held by Daniel Barenboim and Itzhak Perlman and to play at the Carnegie Hall.’
- ‘Any display of precocious talent - or even average ability - mysteriously finds its way into every conversation.’
- ‘Professor Frerichs recognized the precocious talent of this newcomer and encouraged Ehrlich's pursuit of histology and chemistry.’
- ‘Outfield players, especially, must be nurtured almost full-time from the first inkling of any precocious ability.’
- ‘His talent was as precocious as his future partner's, and back in America he would perform at children's parties and at his father's academic gatherings.’
- 1.2 (of a plant) flowering or fruiting earlier than usual.
- ‘The vine is a precocious one, budding, flowering, and ripening early, which makes it prone to spring frosts but means that it can flourish in regions as cool as much of the Loire.’
- ‘In cold-winter climates, prune precocious magnolias in summer after they've bloomed.’
- ‘Callery pears are precocious, having a very short juvenile period, and flower as early as 3 years old.’
Mid 17th century: from Latin praecox, praecoc- (from praecoquere ‘ripen fully’, from prae ‘before’ + coquere ‘to cook’) + -ious.
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