Word of the Day – Precarious

Word of the Day : September 17, 2021


adjective prih-KAIR-ee-us

What It Means

Precarious means “characterized by uncertainty, insecurity, or instability that threatens with danger.”

// College debt leaves many students in a precarious financial situation after graduation.

// The books were stacked high in a precarious tower.

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“Staff may be anxious about returning to the office and want to be assured of their safety while leaders are in the precarious position of having to make what they think is the right call.” — Bernard Coleman, Inc., 18 Aug. 2021

Did You Know?

“This little happiness is so very precarious, that it wholly depends on the will of others.” Joseph Addison, in a 1711 issue of Spectator magazine, couldn’t have described the oldest sense of precarious more precisely—the original meaning of the word was “depending on the will or pleasure of another.” Precarious comes from a Latin word meaning “obtained by entreaty,” which itself is from the word for prayer, prex.