We present Multi-Source Weighted-Ensemble Precipitation, version 2 (MSWEP V2), a gridded precipitation P dataset spanning 1979–2017. MSWEP V2 is unique in several aspects: i) full global coverage (all land and oceans); ii) high spatial (0.1°) and temporal (3 hourly) resolution; iii) optimal merging of P estimates based on gauges [WorldClim, Global Historical Climatology Network-Daily (GHCN-D), Global Summary of the Day (GSOD), Global Precipitation Climatology Centre (GPCC), and others], satellites [Climate Prediction Center morphing technique (CMORPH), Gridded Satellite (GridSat), Global Satellite Mapping of Precipitation (GSMaP), and Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Multisatellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA) 3B42RT)], and reanalyses [European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) interim reanalysis (ERA-Interim) and Japanese 55-year Reanalysis (JRA-55)]; iv) distributional bias corrections, mainly to improve the P frequency; v) correction of systematic terrestrial P biases using river discharge Q observations from 13,762 stations across the globe; vi) incorporation of daily observations from 76,747 gauges worldwide; and vii) correction for regional differences in gauge reporting times. MSWEP V2 compares substantially better with Stage IV gauge–radar P data than other state-of-the-art P datasets for the United States, demonstrating the effectiveness of the MSWEP V2 methodology. Global comparisons suggest that MSWEP V2 exhibits more realistic spatial patterns in mean, magnitude, and frequency. Long-term mean P estimates for the global, land, and ocean domains based on MSWEP V2 are 955, 781, and 1,025 mm yr−1, respectively. Other P datasets consistently underestimate P amounts in mountainous regions. Using MSWEP V2, P was estimated to occur 15.5%, 12.3%, and 16.9% of the time on average for the global, land, and ocean domains, respectively. MSWEP V2 provides unique opportunities to explore spatiotemporal variations in P, improve our understanding of hydrological processes and their parameterization, and enhance hydrological model performance.