To be precise is not the same as to be accurate. Precision has to do with well-definedness, not truth. If an experiment's results are precise, for example, they are closely clustered together, statistically speaking. Similarly, if an argument is precise, it gets to the point and makes it clearly.

However, one may well be precisely wrong.

Pre*cise" (?), a. [L. praecisus cut off, brief, concise, p. p. of praecidere to cut off in front, to cut off; prae before + caedere to cut: cf. F. pr'ecis. Cf. Concise.]


Having determinate limitations; exactly or sharply defined or stated; definite; exact; nice; not vague or equivocal; as, precise rules of morality.

The law in this point is not precise. Bacon.

For the hour precise Exacts our parting hence. Milton.


Strictly adhering or conforming to rule; very nice or exact; punctilious in conduct or ceremony; formal; ceremonious.


He was ever precise in promise-keeping. Shak.

Syn. -- Accurate; exact; definite; correct; scrupulous; punctilious; particular; nice; formal. See Accurate.

-- Pre*cise"ly, adv. -- Pre*cise"ness, n.


© Webster 1913.

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