pre·cious / ˈpreshəs/ • adj. 1. (of an object, substance, or resource) of great value; not to be wasted or treated carelessly: precious works of art my time is precious. ∎ greatly loved or treasured by someone: look after my daughter—she's very precious to me. ∎ inf. used to express the speaker's contempt for someone or something greatly valued by another person: you and your precious schedule—you've got to lighten up! ∎ inf. used for emphasis, often in an ironic context: a precious lot you know about dogs! 2. derog. affectedly concerned with elegant or refined behavior, language, or manners: his exaggerated, precious manner. • n. used as a term of address to a beloved person: don't be frightened, my precious. PHRASES: precious little/few extremely little or few (used for emphasis): police still know precious little about the dead man you will find precious few atheists on operating tables.DERIVATIVES: pre·cious·ly adv. pre·cious·ness n.