in·​dus·​tri·​ous | \ in-ˈdə-strē-əs How to pronounce industrious (audio) \

Definition of industrious

1 : constantly, regularly, or habitually active or occupied : diligent an industrious worker
2 obsolete : skillful, ingenious

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Other Words from industrious

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

For a vast swath of the American public, Iacocca was the face, the voice and the symbol of the car business in Detroit at its most resourceful and industrious. Bart Barnes, The Denver Post, "Lee Iacocca, who rescued Chrysler from bankruptcy in the 1980s, dies at 94," 2 July 2019 In recent years local kingpins have been putting the industrious locals to new work: felling the hills’ forests to get at the coal, limestone, China clay and even gold underneath. The Economist, "The South Asian monsoon, past, present and future," 27 June 2019 Beekeepers and other boosters of the industrious insects are instead furious that the San Diego Padres appeared to have called in an exterminator to kill the bees, KGTV reported. Don Sweeney, sacbee, "Bee lovers furious at slaying of swarm that interrupted a San Diego Padres ballgame," 4 June 2019 DeNucci smartly makes the story about Deuce, an industrious, good-hearted rogue, frustrated by his lack of career advancement. Noel Murray,, "Reviews for ‘Daughter of the Wolf,’ ‘Lost Angelas,’ ‘Head Count,’ ‘Killer Unicorn,’ ‘Vault’," 13 June 2019 The upshot is that our recipe developers are forced to get industrious and resourceful. Adam Rapoport, Bon Appétit, "These Strawberry Shortcakes Have Only 10 Ingredients," 11 June 2019 Cheater microbes steal resources from their neighbors and devote all their energy to reproduction, rapidly outnumbering the more industrious cells. Quanta Magazine, "Life’s Secrets Sought in a Snowflake," 3 Nov. 2015 Once again, nature might hold the answer: the neurobiological phenomenon known as the hive mind, found famously in the most industrious of the world’s creatures—the ant. Joe Lindsey, Popular Mechanics, "'Game of Thrones' Science: How Do Wights Work?," 26 Apr. 2019 Their futurism here is rather prim, conveying the sense of industrious designers working dutifully to solve specific social problems. Michael J. Lewis, WSJ, "‘The Road Ahead: Reimagining Mobility’ Review: Future Imperfect," 10 Jan. 2019

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Statistics for industrious

Last Updated

9 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for industrious

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

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More Definitions for industrious



English Language Learners Definition of industrious

: working very hard : not lazy


in·​dus·​tri·​ous | \ in-ˈdə-strē-əs How to pronounce industrious (audio) \

Kids Definition of industrious

: working hard and steadily industrious students

Other Words from industrious

industriously adverb

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Comments on industrious

What made you want to look up industrious? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to complain fretfully

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