mid-15c., "neither more nor less than, with no error; exactly stated or marked off; definitely or strictly expressed; distinguished with precision from all others," from Old French précis "condensed, cut short" (14c.) and directly from Medieval Latin precisus, from Latin praecisus "abrupt, abridged, cut off," past participle of praecidere "to cut off, shorten," from prae "before" (see pre-) + -cidere, combining form of caedere "to cut" (from PIE root *kae-id- "to strike"). For the Latin vowel change, see acquisition. Related: Precisely (late 14c.).
"concise statement, summary, abstract," 1760, from French précis, noun use of précis "cut short, condensed" (see precise). As a verb, from 1856.
"one devoted to precision," 1570s, from precise + -ian on model of Christian, etc., or from or based on French précisien. Especially "one who adhered punctiliously to rules or doctrines." Precisionist in the same sense is by 1827.
"too precise, over-particular," 1895, probably Southern U.S. dialect, first attested in Joel Chandler Harris, perhaps an alteration of precise (q.v.), or a merger of prim and sissy [OED]. Related: Prissily; prissiness.
["]Then Mrs Blue Hen rumpled up her feathers and got mad with herself, and went to setting. I reckon that's what you call it. I've heard some call it 'setting' and others 'sitting.' Once, when I was courting, I spoke of a sitting hen, but the young lady said I was too prissy for anything."
"What is prissy?" asked Sweetest Susan.
Mr. Rabbit shut his eyes and scratched his ear. Then he shook his head slowly.
"It's nothing but a girl's word," remarked Mrs. Meadows by way of explanation. "It means that somebody's trying hard to show off."
"I reckon that's so," said Mr. Rabbit, opening his eyes. He appeared to be much relieved.
[Joel Chandler Harris, "Mr. Rabbit at Home"]
*kaə-id-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to strike."
It forms all or part of: abscise; avicide; biocide; caesarian; caesura; cement; chisel; -cide; circumcise; circumcision; concise; decide; decision; deicide; excise (v.); excision; felicide; feticide; filicide; floricide; fratricide; fungicide; gallinicide; genocide; germicide; herbicide; homicide; incise; incision; incisor; infanticide; insecticide; legicide; liberticide; libricide; matricide; parricide; patricide; pesticide; precise; precision; prolicide; scissors; senicide; spermicide; suicide; uxoricide; verbicide.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit skhidati "beats, tears;" Latin caedere "to strike down, fell, slay;" Lithuanian kaišti "shave;" Armenian xait'em "to stab;" Albanian qeth "to shave;" Middle Dutch heien "to drive piles," Old High German heia "wooden hammer," German heien "beat."
"formal, stiffly precise in speech or manners," 1709, the sole surviving sense of a word attested first as a verb (1680s) "to assume a formal, precise demeanor," a cant word of uncertain origin, perhaps from French prim "thin, small, delicate" (Old French prim "fine, delicate"), from Latin primus "finest," literally "first" (see prime (adj.)).
Later, "deck out with great nicety, dress to effect, form or dispose with affected preciseness" (1721). It also is attested as a noun from 1700, "formal, precise, or stuck-up person." Related: Primly; primness.