Definition of precipitant in English:



  • 1A cause of a particular action or event.

    ‘the immediate precipitants of the conflict’
    • ‘Guided by these principles, he made several criticisms of the police as both background to and immediate precipitants of the disorders.’
    • ‘Stress itself could be a possible precipitant of urticaria.’
    • ‘Last but not least, one should look for stress as a precipitant.’
    • ‘Eleven, even if it remains a dead law, it is not without its precipitant and pernicious consequences.’
    • ‘It is reported by his mother who attended with him that he regularly will fly into a rage without precipitant, has poor recollection of the events and feels remorse and guilt afterwards.’
    1. 1.1Psychology A cause or stimulus which precipitates a particular condition.
      ‘depression may be a precipitant in many cases’
      • ‘Cognitive models focus on maladaptive or biased thought processes, whereas interpersonal models focus on social difficulties and stressful interpersonal environments as precipitants of psychopathology.’
      • ‘While it is a statistical certainty that some Ecstasy users will present for psychiatric services, the current available data shed little light on whether Ecstasy use is a precipitant, modifier or consequence of psychiatric illness.’
      • ‘Most reported interventions have begun with assessment of seizure precipitants, looking particularly for emotionally based triggers for seizures.’
      • ‘Such pediatric catatonia - more often found in boys than in girls - has the same characteristics, similar precipitants and the same response to treatments as adult catatonia.’
      • ‘Pending or actual separation, issuance of a restraining order, and threatening behavior are common precipitants.’
      spur, stimulant, encouragement, impetus, boost, prompt, prod, incentive, inducement, inspiration, fillip
  • 2Chemistry
    A substance that causes the precipitation of a specified substance.

    ‘a protein precipitant’
    • ‘The model protein lysozyme in the presence of the precipitant, sodium chloride, was used in this study.’
    • ‘Under real crystallization conditions, potential phase perturbants, such as proteins, native membrane lipids, detergents, and precipitants, will be present.’
    • ‘The precipitants with protein A-Sepharose were divided into three equal parts, one for the kinase assay at 25°, one for the kinase assay at 37°, and one for the Western blotting.’
    • ‘Nitric oxide, nitrates, and sulfa-containing drugs are the most frequent precipitants of clinically important methemoglobinemia.’


Early 17th century from obsolete French précipitant ‘precipitating’, present participle of précipiter.