What's the difference between precise and accurate?


What's the difference between precise and accurate?

asked Jan 19 '11 at 17:42 Brad New member

3 answers


These words are practically synonomous and are often used interchangeably.  

However, 'precise' often suggests a degree of attention-to-detail that 'accurate' doesn't usually convey.

"They gave an accurate description of the crime." vs. "They gave a precise description of the crime."

The second example suggests that the witnesses gave a detailed description, while the first only implies a factual description, without special attention to detail.

link comment answered Jan 19 '11 at 19:12 Kimberly Expert

Precise doesn't imply TRUE - merely detailed, while accurate does. 

link answered Jan 29 '11 at 20:28 Eve New member

I just stumbled onto this question, and you put it very succinctly as well as accurately.

Lewis NeidhardtMar 29 '12 at 21:24

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The information that  i  have recieved from my parents were accurate.

link comment answered Jun 22 '11 at 05:57 Umu_bushra New member

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