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1911 Encyclopedia Britannica
literally, held on the good-will of another, or on entreaty (Lat. prex, precis, prayer) to another. The word is used, in law, of a tenure of land, office, &c., held at the pleasure of another. In general usage it has the significance of something uncertain, dangerous or risky.
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Chisholm, Hugh, General Editor. Entry for 'Precarious'. 1911 Encyclopedia Britanica. https://www.studylight.org/​encyclopedias/​eng/​bri/​p/precarious.html. 1910.