1. a cliff with a vertical, nearly vertical, or overhanging face.
2. a situation of great peril: on the precipice of war.
Origin: 1590-1600; < Middle French < Latin praecipitium steep place, equivalent to praecipit- (stem of praeceps) steep, headlong (prae- pre- + -cipit-, combining form of caput head; see caput) + -ium -ium
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