the adjective 'precocious' describes someone (usually a child) who develops certain abilities or inclinations at an earlier age than is usual or expected. It can refer to abilities, talents, or maturity levels that seem advanced for a person's age.
'precocious' is often used in the context of intellectual abilities, but it can also refer to emotional or physical maturity. It can have both positive and negative connotations. While it can praise a child's advanced abilities, it can also suggest that a child is overly mature in ways that might not be appropriate for their age. It's not typically used to describe adults, as its meaning is rooted in the idea of early development relative to one's age.
The precocious child began reading novels at the age of four.
Her understanding of complex moral issues was precocious for a ten-year-old.
Some parents worry about precocious teenagers growing up too fast.
'Precocious' doesn't just mean 'smart.' It's about being advanced for one's age. Be cautious when using it to ensure the context doesn't make it seem like you're suggesting inappropriate maturity. Don't confuse 'precocious' with 'precious.' While both can be used to describe children, their meanings are very different. 'Precious' refers to something of great value, often used endearingly, while 'precocious' refers to early development or maturity.