in·​dus·​tri·​ous in-ˈdə-strē-əs How to pronounce industrious (audio)
: constantly, regularly, or habitually active or occupied : diligent
an industrious worker
obsolete : skillful, ingenious
industriously adverb
industriousness noun
Choose the Right Synonym for industrious

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

Examples of industrious in a Sentence

He is an industrious worker. an industrious worker who never seems to sleep
Recent Examples on the Web Martha Ballard – smart, industrious, and widely respected for her remarkable midwifery record – has been married to Ephraim for 35 years. By Various Book Reviewers, The Christian Science Monitor, 8 Feb. 2024 Fixed signs essentially serve as a stabilizing force in the zodiac; they’re typically known as industrious, hard workers. Kara Nesvig, Peoplemag, 20 Jan. 2024 And yet, Belichick’s Patriots became an omnipresent source of pride, one that was emblematic of how New Englanders like to view themselves: reserved but coolly efficient, innovative, prosperous, industrious and furtive about their methods. Bill Pennington, New York Times, 11 Jan. 2024 Gun sales were sizzling in the days leading up to Y2K, as industrious citizens planned in advance to meet the threat of violence with… the threat of violence. Chris Vognar, Rolling Stone, 30 Dec. 2023 There’s Bucky Beaver, a naturally industrious woodworker, who holds a carver’s mallet and chisel in his paws, and Reggie Raccoon, who totes a garbage can. Richard Sandomir, New York Times, 29 Dec. 2023 In the unusual clash between an author’s estate and an industrious fan, the Tolkien family won out. Daniel Wu, Washington Post, 19 Dec. 2023 While alto saxophone is Kahlil’s primary instrument, this industrious ninth-grader also plays soprano, tenor and baritone saxophones, flute and bass clarinet. George Varga, San Diego Union-Tribune, 14 Dec. 2023 Listening to Perpetual Morphosis is like watching stop-motion footage of a rainforest floor: notes skittering around like industrious insects in the dirt while others operate on an entirely different timescale, growing and blooming with the patience of plants. Pitchfork, 14 Dec. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'industrious.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of industrious was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near industrious

Cite this Entry

“Industrious.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


in·​dus·​tri·​ous in-ˈdəs-trē-əs How to pronounce industrious (audio)
: constantly or regularly active or occupied
an industrious farmer
industriously adverb
industriousness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on industrious

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