American Dictionary of the English Language

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PRE'CIOUS, adjective [Latin pretiosus, from pretium, price. See Praise.]

1. Of great price; costly; as a precious stone.

2. Of great value or worth; very valuable.

She is more precious than rubies. Proverbs 3:15.

3. Highly valued; much esteemed.

The word of the Lord was precious in those days; there was no open vision. 1 Samuel 3:1.

4. Worthless; in irony and contempt.

Precious metals, gold and silver, so called on account of their value.