precariousness

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
  1. noun
    being unsettled or in doubt or dependent on chance
    “the precariousness of his income”
    synonyms: uncertainness, uncertainty
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    Antonyms:
    certainty, foregone conclusion, sure thing
    something that is certain
    types:
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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
    unpredictability
    lacking predictability
    improbability, improbableness
    the quality of being improbable
    fortuitousness
    the quality of happening accidentally and by lucky chance
    speculativeness
    the quality of being a conclusion or opinion based on supposition and conjecture rather than on fact or investigation
    inconclusiveness
    the quality of being inconclusive
    unlikelihood, unlikeliness
    the improbability of a specified outcome
    type of:
    quality
    an essential and distinguishing attribute of something or someone
  2. noun
    extreme dangerousness
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    type of:
    dangerousness
    the quality of not being safe
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