[17] Precocious means etymologically ‘pre-cooked’. It was borrowed from Latin praecox, a derivative of the verb praecoquere ‘cook in advance’, which was a compound formed from the prefix prae- ‘before’ and coquere ‘cook’ (a relative of English cook and kitchen). But coquere was also used metaphorically for ‘ripen’, and so praecox also meant ‘early-ripening’ – whence English precocious ‘developing before its time’. The apricot is etymologically the ‘precocious’ fruit. => APRICOT, COOK, KILN, KITCHEN

The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins. 2013.

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(especially in mental development), ,

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  • Precocious — Pre*co cious, a. [L. praecox, ocis, and praecoquus, fr. praecoquere to cook or ripen beforehand; prae before + coquere to cook. See 3d {Cook}, and cf. {Apricot}.] 1. Ripe or mature before the proper or natural time; early or prematurely ripe or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • precocious — [prē kō′shəs, prikō′shəs] adj. [< L praecox < praecoquere, to boil beforehand < prae , before (see PRE ) + coquere, to mature, COOK] 1. developed or matured to a point beyond that which is normal for the age [a precocious child] 2. of or …   English World dictionary

  • precocious — (adj.) 1640s, developed before the usual time, from L. praecox (gen. praecocis) maturing early, from prae before (see PRE (Cf. pre )) + coquere to ripen, lit. to cook (see COOK (Cf. cook) (n.)). Originally of flowers or fruits. Figurative use, of …   Etymology dictionary

  • precocious — untimely, forward, *premature, advanced Analogous words: immature, unmatured, unripe Antonyms: backward …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • precocious — [adj] exceptionally smart, ahead of age in understanding advanced, aggressive, ahead of time*, beforehand, bold, brassy*, bright, cheeky*, cocky*, developed, early, flip*, flippant, forward, fresh, intelligent, mature, nervy, premature,… …   New thesaurus

  • precocious — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ having developed certain abilities or inclinations at an earlier age than usual. DERIVATIVES precociously adverb precociousness noun precocity noun. ORIGIN from Latin praecox, from praecoquere ripen fully …   English terms dictionary

  • Precocious — Unusually early development, whether it be of intellectual powers, speech, physical traits, etc. Precocious puberty is the unusually early development of secondary sexual features. The onset of sexual maturation in a girl before age 8 or a boy… …   Medical dictionary

  • precocious — [[t]prɪko͟ʊʃəs[/t]] ADJ GRADED: usu ADJ n A precocious child is very clever, mature, or good at something, often in a way that you usually only expect to find in an adult. Margaret was always a precocious child... She burst on to the world tennis …   English dictionary

  • precocious — adjective Etymology: Latin praecoc , praecox early ripening, precocious, from prae + coquere to cook more at cook Date: 1650 1. exceptionally early in development or occurrence < precocious puberty > 2. exhibiting mature qualities at an unusually …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • precocious — [17] Precocious means etymologically ‘pre cooked’. It was borrowed from Latin praecox, a derivative of the verb praecoquere ‘cook in advance’, which was a compound formed from the prefix prae ‘before’ and coquere ‘cook’ (a relative of English… …   Word origins

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