painstaking

adjective
pains·​tak·​ing | \ ˈpān-ˌstā-kiŋ How to pronounce painstaking (audio) \

Definition of painstaking

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: taking pains : expending, showing, or involving diligent care and effort painstaking research painstaking tasks painstaking accuracy

painstaking

noun

Definition of painstaking (Entry 2 of 2)

: the action of taking pains : diligent care and effort … greater painstaking to achieve incidental verisimilitude and accuracy of detail …Times Literary Supplement

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from painstaking

Adjective

painstakingly \ ˈpān-​ˌstā-​kiŋ-​lē How to pronounce painstakingly (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for painstaking

Synonyms: Adjective

careful, conscientious, fussy, loving, meticulous, scrupulous

Antonyms: Adjective

careless

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of painstaking in a Sentence

Adjective

The book describes the election process in painstaking detail. she was always painstaking about her work

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Building a reliable defense in the fastest, most punishing league in soccer is painstaking work. Mike Sudal, WSJ, "English Soccer’s Flying Dutchman," 1 Apr. 2019 That’s according to All Home Connections, which did the painstaking research of finding each state’s favorite artist on the popular music-streaming service. David Selig, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Kodak Black is Florida’s favorite Spotify artist; XXXTentacion is No. 1 in a state you'd never guess," 2 July 2018 Since there is no photographic record of the artist’s final home, Tate undertook painstaking research to recreate it as a virtual reality space. Jake Cigainero, New York Times, "European Museums Get Adventurous With Virtual Reality," 12 Mar. 2018 Amidst the rush to war following the attack, there was also the painstaking effort to recover those who had been sunk with ships like the USS Oklahoma and the USS Arizona. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "After 77 Years, We're Still Identifying Men Who Died at Pearl Harbor," 7 Dec. 2018 The nation hung on the unfolding drama: The painstaking effort to drill another shaft, parallel to hers. Jess Bidgood, New York Times, "What Did Baby Jessica Think of the Thai Cave Rescue? She Had No Idea It Happened," 11 July 2018 And on Father’s Day, Roberts would send cards to his father, each time taking the painstaking effort of searching for the right words to inscribe. Dylan Hernandez, latimes.com, "Dave Roberts leaned on his late father to survive his first managerial crisis," 16 June 2018 His first results were too painstaking to assemble. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "Neat 12-Sided Origami Bot Traps Squid and Jellyfish Without Hurting Them," 18 July 2018 From a mod library in orange and charcoal to a sparkling white kitchen and leopard walls, a 300-year old colonial in Westchester County, New York, get a painstaking redo—and a dose of 21st-century glam. Fred Nicolaus, House Beautiful, "How Andrew Flesher Used Bright Colors And Leopard Print To Rescue A Historic Home," 6 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Both Corker and Senator Orrin Hatch, Republican of Utah, credited McCarry with leading the painstaking, behind-the-scenes negotiations. Joshua Goodman, BostonGlobe.com, "Back channel with Boston roots helped free Utah man in Venezuela," 27 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'painstaking.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of painstaking

Adjective

circa 1685, in the meaning defined above

Noun

1538, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about painstaking

Statistics for painstaking

Last Updated

12 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for painstaking

The first known use of painstaking was in 1538

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for painstaking

painstaking

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of painstaking

: showing or done with great care and effort

painstaking

adjective
pains·​tak·​ing | \ ˈpān-ˌstā-kiŋ How to pronounce painstaking (audio) \

Kids Definition of painstaking

: taking or showing great care painstaking work

Other Words from painstaking

painstakingly adverb

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on painstaking

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

WORD OF THE DAY

highly pertinent or appropriate

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!