[General] from a book "precipitate women"

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harriet_yang

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Dear teachers and fellow learners,

I saw this from a book by Will Durant:

" What made these comedies succeed was not their ancient plots but their wealth of humorous incident, their rollicking puns as bad as Shakespeare's, their boisterous indecency, their gallery of precipitate women, and an their occasional sentiment; in every play the audience could rely upon finding a love affair, a seduction, a handsome and virtuous hero, and a slave with more brains than all the rest of the characters put together."

Words in red are what I don't understand. Thanks ahead for your kind help!
 

probus

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Really, Harriet, all you need in this case is a dictionary. You know it must be an adjective here, right? So what does the adjective precipitate mean? Please don't be lazy.
 

harriet_yang

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I am a bit hurt by this comment. I read this book on my kindle and consulted 3 dictionaries and asked a friend from US. I don't think lazy applied to me. I don't consider it my fault if I couldn't understand something even if it's fairly easy to others.
Really, Harriet, all you need in this case is a dictionary. You know it must be an adjective here, right? So what does the adjective precipitate mean? Please don't be lazy.
 

harriet_yang

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this reminded me of another thing: I might need to find a better dictionary. This forum has always been a place that I cherish since people always answer questions fast and clearly. People are doing this without being paid a cent. As an English learner I appreciate it very much and benefited a lot.
 

Matthew Wai

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Having read the dictionary in post #5, I think a precipitate person is one who tends to take precipitate actions.
 

Rover_KE

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cameron206, please correct the information in your profile and read the following extract from the forum's Posting Guidelines:

You are welcome to answer questions posted in the Ask a Teacher forum as long as your suggestions, help, and advice reflect a good understanding of the English language. If you are not a teacher, you will need to state that clearly in your post. Please note, all posts are moderated by our in-house language experts, so make sure your suggestions, help, and advice provide the kind of information an international language teacher would offer. If not, and your posts do not contribute to the topic in a positive way, they will be subject to deletion.
 

JMurray

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I think that harriet had difficulty finding a helpful definition because the adjective "precipitate" is much more often used to describe an action rather than a person. The vast majority of dictionary entries reflect this.

"This precipitate declaration of war can lead only to disaster."
"Continued inaction by the government will lead to a precipitate decline in the economy."
"They will both come to regret such a precipitate marriage."

In the context given, perhaps "precipitate women" means something like impetuous, and as Piscean suggests, irresponsible.
 
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Matthew Wai

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the adjective "precipitate" is much more often used to describe an action rather than a person.
I found only one example where it is used to describe a person.
'Don't be precipitate - think it through before you make a decision.'──quoted from the link in post #5.
 
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