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noun (1)

dil·​i·​gence ˈdi-lə-jən(t)s How to pronounce diligence (audio)
: steady, earnest, and energetic effort : devoted and painstaking work and application to accomplish an undertaking : assiduity
showed great diligence in tracking down the story
He had earned universal respect for his integrity, fairness, and diligence.John L. Sanders
obsolete : speed, haste
Go, hence with diligence!Shakespeare
law : the attention and care legally expected or required of a person (such as a party to a contract) see also due diligence


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noun (2)

: stagecoach
The railway had driven coach companies out of business …. Once, the journey had taken three days by diligence.Graham Robb

Examples of diligence in a Sentence

Noun (1) through the diligence and ingenuity of a single detective, the gang's ringleader was finally caught
Recent Examples on the Web
However in April, State Auditor Grant Parks sharply criticized the California Interagency Council on Homelessness, composed of Newsom administration officials, for lack of diligence in monitoring homelessness programs. Dan Walters, The Mercury News, 2 July 2024 This case serves as a reminder of the profound impact of diligence and perseverance in the face of adversity. John "johnny" Weekes, Sun Sentinel, 26 June 2024 The dog showed his persistence and diligence to continue to compete to win the hearts of the judges and voters. Ahjané Forbes, USA TODAY, 26 June 2024 His professionalism, diligence and integrity across all those years was a shining example to journalist’s young and old who have been around him. Dom Amore, Hartford Courant, 8 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for diligence 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'diligence.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Noun (1)

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin diligentia, from diligent-, diligens — see diligent

Noun (2)

French, literally, haste, from Middle French, persevering application

First Known Use

Noun (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun (2)

1742, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of diligence was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near diligence

Cite this Entry

“Diligence.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diligence. Accessed 14 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


: careful and continued work : industry

Legal Definition


dil·​i·​gence ˈdi-lə-jəns How to pronounce diligence (audio)
: earnest and persistent application of effort especially as required by law
also : care sense 1 see also due diligence

More from Merriam-Webster on diligence

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