dil·i·gent | \ˈdi-lə-jənt \

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

Mueller was diligent about seeking permission Here's the section referenced above: The process of defining the Special Counsel’s jurisdiction has also included nonpublic dialogue between the Acting Attorney General and the Special Counsel. Aaron Blake, Washington Post, "Robert Mueller just provided a real window into the Russia investigation. Here are 4 key takeaways.," 3 Apr. 2018 Maria herself would rise to become one of the most powerful empresses in the world through the diligent direction of her domineering mother. Mary Cadden, USA TODAY, "Empress Maria heads juicy Russian cast in historical novel about the Romanovs," 12 July 2018 Neither insurance nor Medicare pays for the round-the-clock support — care that must be diligent and patient. Bill Torpy, ajc, "Torpy at Large: The Tin Man meets The Spirit in the Sky," 19 June 2018 The boy was well-integrated, diligent and ambitious. NBC News, "Trump can win over Kim Jong Un by appealing to sense of humor, teacher says," 11 June 2018 Henry, drafted 35th overall out of Arkansas two years ago, is athletic and diligent and in effect supplanted Gates last month. Tom Krasovic, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Chargers would be lucky to bring back Antonio Gates," 24 May 2018 As more communities continue to consider adding dog-friendly areas within their parks, Sumbry and Ammen also agreed that such processes must be diligent and well-planned. Geoff Bruce, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Where are the best suburban Milwaukee dog parks? Here are some ideas for dog socializing and exercise," 1 May 2018 Gallardo was always diligent about getting his running in during his first stint with the Brewers. Todd Rosiak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Geoff Jenkins elected to Brewers Walk of Fame; other honors for Prince Fielder, Harry Dalton, Doug Melvin," 22 Feb. 2018 And soon after that, according to Scalabrine, Curry — already a diligent practice guy — started the 100-shot routine. Scott Ostler, San Francisco Chronicle, "Scott Ostler: For sharpshooter Curry, practice makes almost perfect," 2 June 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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5 Oct 2018

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

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More Definitions for diligent


dil·i·gent | \ˈdi-lə-jənt \

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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