Precariousness is a state of being in danger or unsure about something. The precariousness of a small child balancing on a rock wall might cause you to wait below with your arms outstretched, ready to catch her.

A literal kind of precariousness is when your dizzy sister is teetering on a balance beam or your grandmother's favorite flowery teacup looks like it's too close to the edge of the coffee table. There's also the figurative precariousness of being dependent on luck or chance, like the precariousness of graduating from art school with a large amount of debt and no job in sight. The Latin root, precarius, means "obtained by asking or praying."

Definitions of precariousness

n being unsettled or in doubt or dependent on chance

“the precariousness of his income”
uncertainness, uncertainty
certainty, foregone conclusion, sure thing
something that is certain
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doubt, doubtfulness, dubiousness, question
uncertainty about the truth or factuality or existence of something
indefiniteness, indefinity, indeterminacy, indeterminateness, indetermination
the quality of being vague and poorly defined
lacking predictability
improbability, improbableness
the quality of being improbable
the quality of happening accidentally and by lucky chance
the quality of being a conclusion or opinion based on supposition and conjecture rather than on fact or investigation
the quality of being inconclusive
unlikelihood, unlikeliness
the improbability of a specified outcome
Type of:
an essential and distinguishing attribute of something or someone

n extreme dangerousness

Type of:
the quality of not being safe

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