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A.Word.A.Day--precipitation

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precipitation (pri-sip-i-TAY-shuhn) noun

1. A headlong fall or rush.

2. Abrupt or impulsive haste.

3. A hastening or an acceleration, especially one that is sudden or unexpected.

4. Any form of water, such as rain, snow, sleet, or hail, that falls to the earth's surface. The quantity of such water falling in a specific area within a specific period.

5. The process of separating a substance from a solution as a solid.

[Latin praecipitare, praecipitat-, to throw headlong, from praeceps, praecipit-, headlong : prae-, pre- + caput, capit-, head + -tion]

"Almost all the U.S. flatlands west of the 100th meridian, which runs from Texasto North Dakota, consistently receive too little precipitation to sustain agriculture without irrigation." Dan Goodgame, Just Enough to Fight Over In the West, there's much more to the water shortage than lack of rain, Time, 4 Jul 1988.

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