Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

diligence1

[dil-i-juh ns]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. constant and earnest effort to accomplish what is undertaken; persistent exertion of body or mind.
  2. Law. the degree of care and caution required by the circumstances of a person.
  3. Obsolete. care; caution.
Show More

Origin of diligence1

1300–50; Middle English deligence (< Anglo-French) < Latin dīligentia, equivalent to dīligent- (stem of dīligēns) diligent + -ia; see -ence

diligence2

[dil-i-juh ns; French dee-lee-zhahns]
noun, plural dil·i·gen·ces [dil-i-juh n-siz; French dee-lee-zhahns] /ˈdɪl ɪ dʒən sɪz; French di liˈʒɑ̃s/.
  1. a public stagecoach, especially as formerly used in France.
Show More

Origin of diligence2

1735–45; short for French carosse de diligence speed coach
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for diligence

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples


British Dictionary definitions for diligence

diligence1

noun
  1. steady and careful application
  2. proper attention or care
  3. law the degree of care required in a given situation
Show More

Word Origin

C14: from Latin dīligentia care, attentiveness

diligence2

noun
  1. history a stagecoach
Show More

Word Origin

C18: from French, shortened from carosse de diligence, literally: coach of speed
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for diligence

n.

mid-14c., from Old French diligence "attention, care; haste, speed," from Latin diligentia "attentiveness, carefulness," from diligentem (nominative diligens) "attentive, assiduous, careful," originally present participle of diligere "single out, value highly, esteem, prize, love; aspire to, be content with, appreciate," originally "to pick out, select," from dis- "apart" (see dis-) + legere "choose, gather" (see lecture (n.)).

Sense evolved from "love" through "attentiveness" to "carefulness" to "steady effort." From the secondary French sense comes the old useage of diligence for "public stage coach" (1742; dilly for short), from a French shortening of carrosse de diligence.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper