diligent

adjective
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

That's almost enough to fill a 2 liter bottle—which even the most diligent water-drinkers may find daunting. Amy Marturana, SELF, "Here’s Exactly How Much Water You Should Drink Every Day," 2 Jan. 2019 The diligent, computer-savvy-in-a-more-practical-way-than-us folks at Fusion combed over the data to create a ranking, which New Jersey tops at 0.82 percent. Chelsea Peng, Marie Claire, "A Master Post Documenting the Ashley Madison Aftershock," 15 Sep. 2015 Except all evidence suggests that the richest taxpayers are the most diligent about mobilizing lobbyists and politicians to finagle the tax code on their behalf. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "High Tax Rates Aren’t Optimal," 8 Jan. 2019 Recipe to avoid jet lag?There’s no real secret to beating jet lag except being very diligent on hydration and eating light, clean food while in flight. Katherine Lagrave, Condé Nast Traveler, "Maria Sharapova Answers 37 Questions About Travel," 27 Aug. 2018 And there’s no way to know more other than to be diligent and keep at it. David Roberts, Vox, "My advice for aspiring explainer journalists," 9 Dec. 2018 Carefully bathe Spot with this mixture, which works like a deodorizing bleach, but be diligent about avoiding the eyes, as this concoction burns sensitive tissue. Janine M. Kahn, Good Housekeeping, "What You Should Do When Your Dog Rolls in Disgusting Stuff, According to Vets," 5 Sep. 2018 Be extra diligent about washing your hands around newborns. Michelle Gant, Fox News, "Parents whose newborn babies died from herpes warn about deadly virus," 19 July 2018 Be extremely diligent in emptying the bag and placing articles in the washer. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "How to Get Rid of Bedbugs Once and For All," 6 Nov. 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near diligent

diligence

diligencia

diligency

diligent

diligentness

dill

Dill

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Last Updated

20 Apr 2019

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

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More Definitions for diligent

diligent

adjective
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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More from Merriam-Webster on diligent

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for diligent

Spanish Central: Translation of diligent

Nglish: Translation of diligent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of diligent for Arabic Speakers

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