dil·​i·​gent | \ ˈdi-lə-jənt How to pronounce diligent (audio) \

Definition of diligent

: characterized by steady, earnest, and energetic effort : painstaking a diligent worker

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Other Words from diligent

diligently adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for diligent

busy, industrious, diligent, assiduous, sedulous mean actively engaged or occupied. busy chiefly stresses activity as opposed to idleness or leisure. too busy to spend time with the children industrious implies characteristic or habitual devotion to work. industrious employees diligent suggests earnest application to some specific object or pursuit. very diligent in her pursuit of a degree assiduous stresses careful and unremitting application. assiduous practice sedulous implies painstaking and persevering application. a sedulous investigation of the murder

Did You Know?

You're more likely to be diligent about something if you love doing it. The etymology of diligent reflects the fact that affection can lead to energetic effort. The word, which entered English in the 14th century by way of Anglo-French, descends from the Latin verb diligere, meaning "to value or esteem highly" or "to love." Of course, you don’t need to care for the task at hand in order to be diligent, but it certainly does help!

Examples of diligent in a Sentence

The American intelligence community's single greatest failing is its lack of good "humint"—human intelligence, the dirty, diligent, shoe-leather penetration of terror networks. — Johanna McGeary, Time, 15 Oct. 2001 Like any diligent foreign correspondent, he attends the briefings and collects face time with the officials, but he knows it's the citizens (the upstanding as well as the jailers, the whores, the black marketeers and the smugglers) who tell the truth … Rolling Stone, 19 Sept. 1996 He was a fourth-year drama student at UCLA and diligent about such valuable actorly exercises as eavesdropping, spying, and telling complicated lies to fellow passengers on airplanes. — Michael Chabon, A Model World and Other Stories, 1991 In spite of diligent work as editor, hack writer, sea captain, and assorted other trades, he wound up poor. — Monroe K. Spears, American Ambitions, 1987 a student who has been unceasingly diligent in pursuit of a degree in mathematics
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Recent Examples on the Web Head coach Steve Kerr, ever diligent, acquired some insight on Russell through former Warriors assistant Luke Walton, now Sacramento’s head coach. Ron Kroichick, SFChronicle.com, "Warriors’ D’Angelo Russell shadows Stephen Curry at end of first practice," 1 Oct. 2019 Often, this meant acting a certain way—submissive, diligent yet easy going—to keep others happy. Sara Radin, Glamour, "Is My Anxiety Normal?," 30 Dec. 2019 Over the past several years, record labels and publishers have grown increasingly diligent about targeting ISPs in an attempt to squelch copyright infringement. Chris Eggertsen, Billboard, "Labels & Publishers Win $1 Billion Piracy Lawsuit Against Cox Communications," 19 Dec. 2019 Being informed and diligent is a better investing strategy than no strategy at all. Nancy Tengler, USA TODAY, "Hey, good news America: Investors are bailing on stocks," 15 Dec. 2019 Jackson, who now works in the 8th Precinct, said McClain was vigilant about safety and diligent about calling in his location and asking detailed questions at scenes. Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press, "Slain Detroit police officer was outgoing, funny and 'loved, loved, loved' his job," 21 Nov. 2019 While building through high school recruiting is the preferred method, Brannen said his staff will remain diligent during each cycle about possible transfers. Fletcher Page, Cincinnati.com, "How to watch, listen and stream Cincinnati basketball take on Alabama A&M," 13 Nov. 2019 Handle your responsibilities in a mature and diligent fashion. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, "Horoscope for Oct. 21, 2019: Scorpio, be a busy bee; Pisces, let love run its natural course," 21 Oct. 2019 Each of the defendants historically has said the San Onofre operations are safe and their oversight diligent. San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Onofre owners, contractor and regulators face new lawsuit over fuel storage plan," 30 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'diligent.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of diligent

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for diligent

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin diligent-, diligens, from present participle of diligere to esteem, love, from di- (from dis- apart) + legere to select — more at legend

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Time Traveler for diligent

Time Traveler

The first known use of diligent was in the 14th century

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Statistics for diligent

Last Updated

26 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Diligent.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diligent. Accessed 27 January 2020.

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More Definitions for diligent


dil·​i·​gent | \ ˈdi-lə-jənt How to pronounce diligent (audio) \

Kids Definition of diligent

: showing steady and earnest care and hard work a diligent search

Other Words from diligent

diligently adverb

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Comments on diligent

What made you want to look up diligent? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


one that suddenly gains wealth or power

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