Definition of precarious in English:


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  • 1Not securely held or in position; dangerously likely to fall or collapse.

    • ‘a precarious ladder’
    dangerous, hazardous, perilous, unsafe, precarious, risky, deceptive, unreliable, undependable, unstable
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    1. 1.1Dependent on chance; uncertain.
      • ‘he made a precarious living as a painter’
      uncertain, insecure, unreliable, unsure, unpredictable, undependable, risky, hazardous, dangerous, unsafe, hanging by a thread, hanging in the balance, perilous, treacherous, on a slippery slope, on thin ice, touch-and-go, built on sand, doubtful, dubious, delicate, tricky, problematic
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/prəˈkerēəs/ /prəˈkɛriəs/


Mid 17th century from Latin precarius ‘obtained by entreaty’ (from prex, prec- ‘prayer’) + -ous.