Advanced and Proficiency Vocabulary for Exams(e.g.GRE, Banks, Civil Services, SAT / LSAT). For IELTS/TOEFL, and everyday spoken vocabulary, go to our Spoken Vocabulary Database.
The word ‘precipice’ can be used either literally or figuratively. Literally, it is a very steep rock face or overhanging place, such as the edge of a mountain where to fall would mean certain death. For that reason, it is extremely hazardous. Figuratively, therefore, this sense of being on the edge is used to express a dangerous situation where somebody or something is on the verge of disaster or failure.
I walked to the top of the cliff face and peered over the precipice to the sea 400 feet below. It was terrifying!
We’re on a financial precipice at the moment. If the markets don’t turn in our favour soon we will lose everything.
Tim believes that society is teetering on the edge of a precipice, which is why the upcoming elections are so important.