Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Marked by persevering, painstaking effort. See Synonyms at busy.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Performing with intense concentration, focus, responsible regard.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Prosecuted with careful attention and effort; careful; painstaking; not careless or negligent.
  • adj. Interestedly and perseveringly attentive; steady and earnest in application to a subject or pursuit; assiduous; industrious.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Constant in study or effort to accomplish what is undertaken; attentive and persistent in doing anything; industrious; assiduous.
  • Steadily applied; prosecuted with care and constant effort; careful; painstaking: as, make diligent search.
  • Synonyms Active, sedulous, laborious, persevering, indefatigable, unremitting, untiring, painstaking.
  • Diligently.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. quietly and steadily persevering especially in detail or exactness
  • adj. characterized by care and perseverance in carrying out tasks

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French, from Latin dīligēns, dīligent-, present participle of dīligere, to esteem, love : dī-, dis-, apart; see dis- + legere, to choose; see leg- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English diligent, from Old French diligent, from Latin diligens ("careful, attentive, diligent"), present participle of diligere ("to love, esteem much, literally to choose, select"), from di-, dis- ("apart") + legere ("to choose"); see elect and select. (Wiktionary)

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