Definition: Exceptionally early in development or occurrence and/or exhibiting mature qualities at an uncommonly early age. It can also be used as an adverb, “precociously”, as well as a noun, “precociousness.”
Etymology: Today’s word of the day originated in Latin with the prefix prae, which means “ahead of.” It was then paired with the verb coquere, meaning “to cook” or “to ripen” – forming the adjective “praecox,” meaning “early ripening” or “premature.”
The first known use of the word “precocious” was in 1650 where English speakers were using this term to refer to plants that produced their blossoms before their leaves emerged.
By 1670, people had begun using the word to describe people, especially children, who developed skills earlier than others did. This is most commonly what the word is used for today.
In a Sentence
She was always a precocious child, learning to read before her classmates did.
There has been a lot of research made on what causes precocious puberty to occur.
Some species of magnolia are precocious.