due diligence

noun

Definition of due diligence

1 law : the care that a reasonable person exercises to avoid harm to other persons or their property failed to exercise due diligence in trying to prevent the accident
2 business : research and analysis of a company or organization done in preparation for a business transaction (such as a corporate merger or purchase of securities)

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Doing Your Due Diligence

Due diligence has been used since at least the mid-fifteenth century in the literal sense “requisite effort.” Centuries later, the phrase developed a legal meaning, namely, “the care that a reasonable person takes to avoid harm to other persons or their property”; in this sense, it is synonymous with another legal term, ordinary care. More recently, due diligence has extended its reach into business contexts, signifying the research a company performs before engaging in a financial transaction. This meaning may also apply to individuals: people are often advised to perform their due diligence before buying a house, signing a loan, or making any important purchase.

Examples of due diligence in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

In his lawsuit, Fairfax argued that CBS and King failed to do their due diligence before airing the interviews with Watson and Tyson. Oliver Darcy, CNN, "Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax sues CBS over interviews with sexual assault accusers," 12 Sep. 2019 General manager Chris Ballard and Co. have already begun doing their due diligence in the search for better depth behind Brissett. Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "Insider: Looking at backup quarterbacks Colts could acquire in coming days," 30 Aug. 2019 The best way to avoid donating to scammers and fake charities is going the extra mile to do due diligence. Adrianna Rodriguez, USA TODAY, "Don't get scammed: How to avoid fake charities after El Paso and Dayton shootings," 13 Aug. 2019 After doing his due diligence to confirm the seller's identity, Spencer made an offer on par with other recent gray-cartridge sales: a $13,000 check on the spot. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "$13,000 NES cartridge found at the bottom of a Safeway sack," 8 Aug. 2019 Epic Games has done its due diligence to make Fortnite accessible for players of all walks of life and all skill levels — so why wouldn’t this life-changing tournament be, too? NBC News, "The next World Cup? Fortnite. Here's everything you need to know," 16 July 2019 Did the team not do its due diligence on a player who’s dealt with numerous off-the-field issues of varying magnitudes for years? Jonathan Jones, SI.com, "What Did the Patriots Know About Antonio Brown?," 12 Sep. 2019 In a recent interview, MediaMonks’ chief executive, Victor Knaap, said that due diligence research into Mr. Sorrell had turned up praise for his acumen and for his unparalleled network of contacts. David Segal, New York Times, "Martin Sorrell Wants to Build a New Ad Empire. Please Don’t Call It Revenge.," 1 July 2019 But maybe as part of its due diligence, DATCP will be able to determine all escapees from the farm over the years. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Smith: An elk that died on a farm in Burnett County had CWD, so a feeding and baiting ban is imminent," 28 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'due diligence.' 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 due diligence

1598, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Dictionary Entries near due diligence

due

due corde

due date

due diligence

due for

dueful

duel

Statistics for due diligence

Last Updated

9 Oct 2019

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Time Traveler for due diligence

The first known use of due diligence was in 1598

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More Definitions for due diligence

due diligence

noun

Financial Definition of due diligence

What It Is

Due diligence is the careful, thorough evaluation of a potential investment, whether on a corporate or individual level.

How It Works

For individual investors, due diligence often means studying annual reports, SEC filings, and any other relevant information about a company and its securities. The objective is to verify the material facts related to the purchase of the investment, as well as to understand whether the investment fits an individuals return requirements, risk tolerance, income needs, and asset allocation goals.

An individual's due diligence might include reading the company’s last two or three annual reports, several recent 10-Qs, and any independent research they could find. In doing so, they would develop a sense of where Company XYZ is headed, what market factors might affect the stock’s price, and how volatile the stock is. This in turn might give them guidance about whether the investment is right for you, and if so, the size and timing of their investment.

In a merger scenario, due diligence often involves a team of people specially tasked with reviewing and verifying every aspect of an investment in another company. In many cases, this team might include lawyers, accountants, and investment bankers.

Why It Matters

Due diligence helps people and companies understand the nature of an investment, the risks of an investment, and how (or whether) an investment fits into a particular portfolio. Due diligence isn’t just good sense, it’s a duty investors owe to themselves -- doing this sort of "homework" on a potential investment is often essential to making prudent investment decisions.

Source: Investing Answers

due diligence

noun

Legal Definition of due diligence

1 : such diligence as a reasonable person under the same circumstances would use : use of reasonable but not necessarily exhaustive efforts

called also reasonable diligence

Note: Due diligence is used most often in connection with the performance of a professional or fiduciary duty, or with regard to proceeding with a court action. Due care is used more often in connection with general tort actions.

2a : the care that a prudent person might be expected to exercise in the examination and evaluation of risks affecting a business transaction
b : the process of investigation carried on usually by a disinterested third party (as an accounting or law firm) on behalf of a party contemplating a business transaction (as a corporate acquisition or merger, loan of finances, or especially purchase of securities) for the purpose of providing information with which to evaluate the advantages and risks involved the greatest exposure…for failure to conduct adequate due diligence arises in the context of public offerings of securities— G. M. Lawrence
c : the defense (as to a lawsuit) that due diligence was conducted

More from Merriam-Webster on due diligence

Britannica English: Translation of due diligence for Arabic Speakers

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