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 Being diligent about growing your retirement savings is just as important as the everyday routine of a healthy lifestyle today. Kelli Click, Forbes, "Retirement Readiness After The Pandemic," 19 Apr. 2021 Two people in their five-person household tested positive for COVID-19 in early January, but because Lena Solis Aguilera was diligent about enforcing quarantine rules, the rest of them remained negative. Ada Tseng, Los Angeles Times, "A hard-hit community needed vaccines. Here’s how a clinic came together in a church parking lot," 17 Apr. 2021 Ross noted both coaches also were diligent about wearing masks. Steve Megargee, ajc, "Cubs' Hendricks feeling ill, scratched amid team COVID scare," 13 Apr. 2021 Ross noted both coaches also were diligent about wearing masks. Steve Megargee, Star Tribune, "Cubs' Hendricks feeling ill, scratched amid team COVID scare," 13 Apr. 2021 At 7-feet, 244 pounds, with a 7-foot-6 wingspan, huge vertical leap and diligent approach, Wieman boasts the tools to become a perennial All-Star. Connor Letourneau, San Francisco Chronicle, "Warriors' James Wiseman suffers torn meniscus, could miss rest of season," 11 Apr. 2021 When others aren’t so diligent, Neighbors said, that’s cause for concern. Mary Colurso | Mcolurso@al.com, al, "To mask or not to mask? Here’s what shoppers decided at Buc-ee’s in Alabama," 11 Apr. 2021 Customers appreciate and remember businesses that take diligent care of their information. Max Carnecchia, Forbes, "Need To Build Customer Trust? Four Lessons To Learn From Financial Institutions," 9 Apr. 2021 Pool reports from reporters inside the courtroom portray a panel of jurors taking diligent notes. Los Angeles Times, "Medical examiner who ruled George Floyd’s death a homicide points to altercation with police," 9 Apr. 2021

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

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

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Last Updated

28 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Diligent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diligent. Accessed 10 May. 2021.

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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

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