Definitions

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

  • adj. Marked by or requiring great pains; very careful and diligent. See Synonyms at meticulous.
  • n. Extremely careful and diligent work or effort.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Carefully attentive to details; diligent in performing a process or procedure.
  • n. The application of careful and attentive effort.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Careful in doing; diligent; faithful; attentive.
  • n. The act of taking pains; carefulness and fidelity in performance.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • That takes pains or trouble; characterized by close, careful, assiduous, or conscientious application or labor; industrious; laborious and careful: as, a painstaking person.
  • n. The taking of pains; assiduous and careful labor.

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

  • adj. characterized by extreme care and great effort

Etymologies

From pains (plural usage) + taking. (Wiktionary)

Examples

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • At first glance, "pain-stalking", but that probably isn't right.

    February 1, 2008

  • So how would you pronounce "painstalking"?

    January 31, 2008

  • I would think so. We're just all lazy bums.

    January 31, 2008

  • I always pronounce and hear it pronounced "pain-staking", but almost certainly it is "pains-taking", right?

    January 31, 2008