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precocious
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precocious


She was a precocious child who always pointed to logical flaws in her parents’ rules.
  early development — especially ability or maturity in a child

or more rarely:

disapproving description of a child who takes liberties usually afforded to people who are older
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precocious precociousness precocity precociously
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Samples:
  • She was a precocious child who always pointed to logical flaws in her parents’ rules.
  • precocious flowers appear before the leaves as in some species of magnolias
  • I judged, then, that the children of that time were extremely precocious, physically at least, and I found afterwards abundant verification of my opinion.
    H.G. Wells  --  The Time Machine
  • They had been, so it seemed to him, proud and precocious words; with a smile, he remembered them.
    Hermann Hesse  --  Siddhartha

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  • Even these days, if someone asks her what I was like as a kid, she describes me as "alert, but not terribly precocious."
    Randy Pausch  --  The Last Lecture
  • Though he was precocious, though he was verbal to the point of annoyance at times, he was small for his age, more the size of a six- or seven-year-old than a ten-year-old.
    Nicholas Sparks  --  The Last Song
  • She spoke as though she were talking to a precocious child.
    Ernest Hemingway  --  For Whom the Bell Tolls
  • ...the most independent, precocious, rebellious teens are hardly likely to be the most susceptible to rational health advice.
    Malcolm Gladwell  --  The Tipping Point
  • professional educator who takes a special interest in extra-precocious children.
    J.D. Salinger  --  Franny and Zooey
  • How do you throw a party for a fictional character who started life as a precocious moppet of six and is now a thirty-year-old bride-to-be who still speaks like a child?
    Gillian Flynn  --  Gone Girl

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  • Lee’s endearing characters, Atticus Finch and his precocious daughter, Scout, captivated readers while confronting them with some of the realities of race and justice in the South.
    Bryan Stevenson  --  Just Mercy
  • Mary would comment again how talented and skilled Sunny was, how dexterous and precocious, and I never thought to correct her appraisals, even though the performances were in fact maudlin and probably insulting to her, as they certainly were to me.
    Chang-rae Lee  --  A Gesture Life
  • They were surprised that Carla could have reared a precocious child, but maybe that was thanks to Denny.
    Anne Tayler  --  A Spool of Blue Thread
  • The more precocious ones had even been talking about the interview expenses various companies paid.
    V.S. Naipaul  --  A Bend in the River
  • She was clad in pale blue rayon panties; her precocious eleven-year-old breasts bulged in a bra of the same washed-out shade.
    William Styron  --  Sophie’s Choice
  • When quite a child, the little Vampa displayed a most extraordinary precocity.
    Alexandre Dumas  --  The Count of Monte Cristo
  • I think you’re a pathetic alcoholic who says fancy things to get attention like a really precocious eleven-year-old and I feel super bad for you.
    John Green  --  The Fault in Our Stars
  • By the time she and her sister were eleven, Parwana had developed a precocious understanding of the strange behavior of boys around girls they privately liked.
    Khaled Hosseini  --  And The Mountains Echoed
  • You examine every turn of flesh for precocity, and crow it to the world.
    Barbara Kingsolver  --  The Poisonwood Bible
  • As a child Bill was precocious and easily bored by his studies.
    Malcolm Gladwell  --  Outliers
  • Mr. Stryver laughed till he shook his precocious paunch.
    Charles Dickens  --  A Tale of Two Cities
  • An act of so much precipitancy and presumption would seal the downfall of precocious intellect forever.
    James Fenimore Cooper  --  The Last of the Mohicans
  • I was a precocious actress in her eyes; she sincerely looked on me as a compound of virulent passions, mean spirit, and dangerous duplicity.
    Charlotte Bronte  --  Jane Eyre
  • Elinor cleared her throat and gave Mo a reproachful glance, as if it could only be his fault that his daughter was precocious enough to know such things.
    Cornelia Funke  --  Inkheart
  • Up until then she was…I don’t know how to explain it: extremely gifted and precocious, but on the whole a rather ordinary teenager.
    Stieg Larsson  --  The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • But since their talent for music has brought them precociously into public notice, I must beg for your kind and indulgent patronage and—leave to take them back to the swamp.’
    Johann Wyss  --  The Swiss Family Robinson
  • Educated at Durmstrang, a school famous even then for its unfortunate tolerance of the Dark Arts, Grindelwald showed himself quite as precociously brilliant as Dumbledore.
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  • ’Listen to him,’ said the Healer, taking Lockhart’s arm and beaming fondly at him as though he were a precocious two-year-old.
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  • Adults were impressed with what seemed to them a precocious maturity, and they were a little frightened at it too.
    John Steinbeck  --  East of Eden
  • They are not callow like the young of most birds, but more perfectly developed and precocious even than chickens.
    Henry David Thoreau  --  Walden
  • But now the idea came strongly into Hester’s mind, that Pearl, with her remarkable precocity and acuteness, might already have approached the age when she could have been made a friend, and intrusted with as much of her mother’s sorrows as could be imparted, without irreverence either to the parent or the child.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The Scarlet Letter
  • Rosemary knew from Brady that he was a musician who after a brilliant and precocious start had composed nothing for seven years.
    F. Scott Fitzgerald  --  Tender is the Night
  • The twelve-year-old girl looked to Nately like a plucked chicken or like a twig with the bark peeled off her sapling body embarrassed everyone in her precocious attempts to imitate her elders, and she was always being chased away to put clothes on and ordered out into the street to play in the fresh air with the other children.
    Joseph Heller  --  Catch-22
  • You precocious chick!
    Louisa May Alcott  --  Little Women
  • It was sad the way they were still babies of four and five years of age but so precocious about taking care of themselves.
    Betty Smith  --  A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
  • But she had the dismal precocity of poverty.
    William Makepeace Thackeray  --  Vanity Fair
  • (I prefer to be the noisiest thing in my environment, thank you very much.) The masses of commuters standing mesmerized under the departure boards, watching for their trains, reminded me of a mob in a zombie movie—which, granted, I shouldn’t have watched as a young child, but I was always rather precocious.
    Rick Riordan  --  The Throne of Fire
  • A fiendish libertine from his earliest years this stinking goat of Mendes gave precocious signs of infantile debauchery, recalling the cities of the plain, with a dissolute granddam.
    James Joyce  --  Ulysses
  • Children are precocious these days, aren’t they?
    Pat Frank  --  Alas, Babylon
  • He stands precociously possessed of centuries of owlish wisdom.
    Charles Dickens  --  Bleak House
  • It was as if his precocity of crookedness (and every vulgar villain is precocious) had for once deceived him, and the man he had sought to entrap as a simpleton had, through his very simplicity, ignominiously baffled him.
    Herman Melville  --  Billy Budd
  • The infancies abound in anecdotes of precocious strength, cleverness, and wisdom.
    Joseph Campbell  --  The Hero With a Thousand Faces
  • And yet it is habitual to summer nights, and is of the great order of noises, like the noises of the sea and of the blood her precocious grandchild, which you realize you are hearing only when you catch yourself listening.
    James Agee  --  A Death in the Family
  • She was a fearless and familiar little thing, who asked disconcerting questions, made precocious comments, and possessed outlandish arts, such as dancing a Spanish shawl dance and singing Neapolitan love-songs to a guitar.
    Edith Wharton  --  The Age of Innocence
  • How had they produced such a child—so smart and self-possessed, so dutiful, helpful, and precocious?
    Dave Eggers  --  Zeitoun
  • I never can quite understand whether my precocious self-dependence confused Mrs. Micawber in reference to my age, or whether she was so full of the subject that she would have talked about it to the very twins if there had been nobody else to communicate with, but this was the strain in which she began, and she went on accordingly all the time I knew her.
    Charles Dickens  --  David Copperfield
  • The twins were precocious with their reading.
    Arundhati Roy  --  The God of Small Things
  • It was extraordinary how my absolute conviction of his secret precocity (or whatever I might call the poison of an influence that I dared but half to phrase) made him, in spite of the faint breath of his inward trouble, appear as accessible as an older person—imposed him almost as an intellectual equal.
    Henry James  --  The Turn of the Screw
  • His early feelings of inadequacy, as well as his precocious mind, were evidenced by the letter he wrote his father at age nine: Dear Sir: I love to receive letters very well; much better than I love to write them.
    John F. Kennedy  --  Profiles in Courage
  • Fitzsimmons’s barn, consisting of horses owned by the Wheatley and Belair Stables, was teeming with precocious youngsters and proven, high-class older horses.
    Laura Hillenbrand  --  Seabiscuit
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Associated words [difficulty]:   precocious [3]
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