precious(redirected from preciousness)
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precious fewand precious little
very few; very little. (Few for people or things that can be counted, and little for amounts.) We get precious few tourists here in the winter. There's precious little food in the house and there is no money.
Time is money.
(My) time is valuable, so don't waste it. I can't afford to spend a lot of time standing here talking. Time is money, you know! People who keep saying time is money may be working too hard.
Also, precious little. Very few, very little, as in There are precious few leaves left on the trees, or We have precious little fuel left. In these idioms precious serves as an intensive, a colloquial usage dating from the first half of the 1800s.
time is money
One's time is a valuable commodity, as in I can't stay home and wait any longer; time is money, you know. This proverbial term goes back to one first recorded in 1572, time is precious, in a discourse on usury.
If you say that there is precious little of something, you mean that there is very little of it, and that it would be better if there were more. The banks have had precious little to celebrate recently. Note: Precious few is used before plural nouns with the same meaning. Precious few homebuyers will notice any reduction in their monthly repayments.