precipitated; precipitating; precipitates

Precipitate usually means "bringing something on" or "making it happen" — and not always in a good way. An unpopular verdict might "precipitate violence" or one false step at the Grand Canyon could precipitate you down into the gorge.

Precipitate, as a verb, can also mean specifically, "to fall from clouds," such as rain, snow, or other forms of precipitation. When used as an adjective, precipitate means "hasty" or "acting suddenly." If you decide to throw your class project in a trash masher just because someone in your class had a similar idea, then your actions might be described as precipitate. Or if you do that sort of thing regularly, you may be a precipitate person.

Definitions of precipitate
  1. verb
    bring about abruptly
    “The crisis precipitated by Russia's revolution”
  2. verb
    hurl or throw violently
    “The bridge broke and precipitated the train into the river below”
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    type of:
    cast, hurl, hurtle
    throw forcefully
  3. verb
    fall vertically, sharply, or headlong
    “Our economy precipitated into complete ruin”
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    type of:
    come down, descend, fall, go down
    move downward and lower, but not necessarily all the way
  4. adjective
    done with very great haste and without due deliberation
    “wondered whether they had been rather precipitate in deposing the king”
    synonyms: hasty, overhasty, precipitant, precipitous
    moving rapidly or performed quickly or in great haste
  5. verb
    fall from clouds
    “Vesuvius precipitated its fiery, destructive rage on Herculaneum”
    synonyms: come down, fall
    descend in free fall under the influence of gravity
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    rain, rain down
    precipitate as rain
    come down like raindrops
    fall as snow
    precipitate as small ice particles
    precipitate as a mixture of rain and snow
    drizzle, mizzle
    rain lightly
    shower, shower down
    rain abundantly
    patter, pitter-patter, spatter, spit, sprinkle
    rain gently
    pelt, pour, rain buckets, rain cats and dogs, stream
    rain heavily
  6. verb
    separate as a fine suspension of solid particles
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    type of:
    change state, turn
    undergo a transformation or a change of position or action
  7. noun
    a precipitated solid substance in suspension or after settling or filtering
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    the precipitate produced by sewage treatment
    type of:
    matter that is solid at room temperature and pressure
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘precipitate'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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