from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Persistent application or diligence; unflagging effort.
  • noun Constant personal attention and often obsequious solicitude.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Constant or close application to any business or occupation; diligence.
  • noun Solicitous care of a person or persons; constant personal attention: usually in the plural.
  • noun Hence Sycophantic attention; servility.
  • noun Synonyms Industry, Assiduity, Application, Diligence, Constancy, Perseverance, Persistence, care, attention, watchfulness, sedulousness, patience. Diligence in labor often conveys the idea of quickness. Industry keeps at work, leaving no time idle. Assiduity (literally, a sitting down to work) sticks quietly to a particular task, with the determination to succeed in spite of its difficulty, or to get it done in spite of its length. Application, literally, bends itself to its work, and is, more specifically than assiduity, a steady concentration of one's powers of body and mind: as, he was a man of extraordinary powers of application; Newton attributed all his own success to application. Diligence is, literally, fondness for one's work, and so, by a natural transfer, industry that is alert. Constancy is the power to continue unchanged, as in affection, or to hold on in any particular course or work: it goes more deeply into character than the others. Perseverance suggests obstacles from without or within which are steadily met, and is morally neutral. Persistence may be good, but it is more often an evil perseverance, as obstinacy or a determination to carry one's point against unwillingness or refusal on the part of others. We speak of plodding industry, patient assiduity, steady application, great diligence, unshaken constancy, undaunted perseverance, persistence that will not take No for an answer.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Constant or close application or attention, particularly to some business or enterprise; diligence.
  • noun Studied and persevering attention to a person; -- usually in the plural.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Great and persistent toil or effort.

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

  • noun great and constant diligence and attention


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  • It took me three tries to type this right. I keep typing 'assiduIDity' instead of 'assiDUity.' Can't we just say "assiduousness"?

    "'...I had told you all about Adanson before, and at great length—his assiduity, his countless books, his misfortune. I beg your pardon. There is nothing more profoundly boring, more deeply saddening, than a repeated tale.'"

    --P. O'Brian, The Commodore, 213

    March 18, 2008