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

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." The Latin diligere was formed by adding the di- prefix (from dis-, "apart") to the verb legere, an ancestor of the English legend, meaning "to gather, select" or "to read." 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
Recent Examples on the Web The Council must be diligent to ensure that appeals are handled with the community in mind and not the developers, donors, or big-moneyed special interest groups as is currently the case. Baltimore Sun, 17 May 2022 With access to Bayer leadership and diligent listening, Gary Sorenson was able to deliver new and stronger products to his customers. Annabel Gutterman, Time, 12 May 2022 However, their coat does require diligent care, so be prepared with the combs, brushes, and other tools. Jamie Ballard, Woman's Day, 3 May 2022 But Lopez is devoted to all of it and remains diligent with his care. Lori Nickel, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 3 May 2022 It’s in the personality of the necessary star: someone not nice but inevitable, not diligent but explosive, not well-rounded but weird. New York Times, 24 Apr. 2022 And while the most intimate glimpses here are those of a monarch squelching happily across Balmoral in her Wellies or scrutinizing her heating bills, the complete portrait is one of a shrewd and diligent manager. Anna Mundow, WSJ, 22 Apr. 2022 So how can any manufacturing method, however diligent, ever be carbon negative? Nick Scott, Robb Report, 5 Apr. 2022 However, with so many variables affecting compensation, employers must be thorough and diligent in developing a consistent pay structure. Johnny C. Taylor Jr., USA TODAY, 29 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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

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Dictionary Entries Near diligent

diligency

diligent

diligentness

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Last Updated

22 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Diligent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diligent. Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on diligent

Nglish: Translation of diligent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of diligent for Arabic Speakers

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