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

  • adjective Acting with, showing, or involving great care and attention. synonym: meticulous.
  • adjective Usage Problem Attended by difficulties; arduous.

from The Century Dictionary.

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • adjective characterized by extreme care and great effort


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From pains (plural usage) + taking.


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

    January 31, 2008

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

    January 31, 2008

  • So how would you pronounce "painstalking"?

    January 31, 2008

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

    February 1, 2008