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



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

Other Words from painstaking


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

Synonyms & Antonyms for painstaking

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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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 Such painstaking efforts had been part of the White House record-keepers’ job, because Trump habitually ripped up things that legally needed to be preserved. Amy Davidson Sorkin, The New Yorker, 6 Feb. 2022 To apply for bank loans, companies must first fill out lengthy application forms, followed by the preparation of business documents in painstaking detail, as well as countless phone calls and email correspondences. Percy Hung, Forbes, 31 Jan. 2022 All of this has been re-created in painstaking detail by Douglas, who’s taken to photographing objects on the streets surrounding his southeast London home and then Photoshopping them into the game in pursuit of the most compelling experience. Will Pritchard, Wired, 13 Nov. 2021 Recovering that data, especially if the recorder has been damaged by fire, could be a long, painstaking process, according to Graham Braithwaite, who trains air accident investigators at England’s Cranfield University. Benjamin Katz, WSJ, 25 Mar. 2022 Officials said the measures are the fruit of what officials say has been a painstaking diplomatic process aimed at illustrating Western unity. Washington Post, 24 Feb. 2022 Bernard MacLaverty’s short stories and novels flow as easily as conversation but writing them is painstaking. Brenda Cronin, WSJ, 14 Jan. 2022 But reaching success certainly is an awesome and indeed worthwhile reward for all those painstaking efforts. Tyler Gallagher, Rolling Stone, 25 Feb. 2022 The strategy will thus be realized only over time and through painstaking engagement. Hal Brands, National Review, 17 Feb. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun It’s all open road but painstaking going, with frequent military checkpoints. Michael G. Seamans, USA TODAY, 22 Apr. 2022 Decades of painstaking, sometimes dangerous, work by a handful of committed ranchers and animal scientists have helped restore the population to over 8,000. Henry Gass, The Christian Science Monitor, 7 Apr. 2022 Maybe that’s why Keenan Scott II — who spent a dozen painstaking years perfecting the play that officially opened Wednesday at Broadway’s Golden Theatre — identifies his characters by emotion, attribute or condition, rather than name. Washington Post, 14 Oct. 2021 And after that painstaking work, sharks like Freya can be monitored to give scientists invaluable information on their migratory patterns., 23 June 2021 Now the Suns have flourished in his painstaking, perfection-demanding wake. New York Times, 21 May 2021 Some marketers have been making their own painstaking, case-by-case evaluations of the platforms. Nat Ives, WSJ, 13 Aug. 2020 Both Corker and Senator Orrin Hatch, Republican of Utah, credited McCarry with leading the painstaking, behind-the-scenes negotiations. Joshua Goodman,, 27 May 2018 See More

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.

First Known Use of painstaking


circa 1685, in the meaning defined above


1538, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for painstaking

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The first known use of painstaking was in 1538

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Statistics for painstaking

Last Updated

26 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Painstaking.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for painstaking


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

More from Merriam-Webster on painstaking

Nglish: Translation of painstaking for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of painstaking for Arabic Speakers


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