|Origin:||precios, from Latin pretiosus, from pretium; PRICE1|
something that is precious is valuable and important and should not be wasted or used without care
We cannot afford to waste precious time.
planes delivering precious supplies of medicine and food
our planet's precious resources
rare and worth a lot of money
a statue covered with precious jewels
precious memories or possessions are important to you because they remind you of people you like or events in your life
The doll is cracked and worn, but it's precious to me because it was my mother's.
4 [only before noun] spoken
used to show that you are annoyed that someone seems to care too much about something:
I never touched your precious car!
used to speak to someone you love, especially a baby or small child:
Come sit by me, precious.
6 American English spoken
used in order to describe someone or something that is small and pretty [= cute]:
The kids gave me that ornament. Isn't it precious?
too concerned about style or detail in your writing or speech, so that it does not seem natural:
His early work is rather precious and juvenile.
—preciousness noun [uncountable]