December 08, 2011
precious (adjective)
\PRESH-us\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 : of great value or high price2 : greatly loved : dear
How do you use it?
"Mrs. Frisby did what she was told, first grasping the precious packages of medicine tightly between her teeth." (Robert C. O'Brien, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH)
Are you a word wiz?

Which word do you think comes from the same root as "precious"?

"Precious" and "appreciate" both come from a family of words having to do with value. Words in this family trace to the Latin root "pretium" which means "price, money, value." An early meaning of "appreciate" is "to recognize something as valuable." The related word "depreciate" means "to lower the price or value of something." And "prize" and "price" were formed when "pretium" was adopted into English as "pris."
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