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[dil-i-juh nt] /ˈdɪl ɪ dʒənt/
constant in effort to accomplish something; attentive and persistent in doing anything:
a diligent student.
done or pursued with persevering attention; painstaking:
a diligent search of the files.
Origin of diligent
1300-50; Middle English (< Anglo-French) < Latin dīligent- (stem of dīligēns), present participle of dīligere to choose, like, equivalent to dī- di-2 + -ligere (combining form of legere to choose, read); see -ent
Related forms
diligently, adverb
diligentness, noun
nondiligent, adjective
nondiligently, adverb
overdiligent, adjective
overdiligently, adverb
overdiligentness, noun
prediligent, adjective
prediligently, adverb
undiligent, adjective
undiligently, adverb
1. industrious, assiduous, sedulous. 2. indefatigable, untiring, tireless, unremitting.
Synonym Study
1. See busy. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for diligently
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The door opened; but he seemed to take no heed, so diligently did he count his figures.

    Fair Margaret H. Rider Haggard
  • There he plied his tasks so diligently that he excelled all in book-learning.

    Welsh Fairy Tales William Elliott Griffis
  • No bugle had sounded, yet the whole camp was softly and diligently astir.

    The Cavalier George Washington Cable
  • He won his spurs by perseverance, knowledge, and ability, diligently cultivated.

    Self-Help Samuel Smiles
  • That he will serve me diligently and faithfully I have no doubt.

    Vivian Grey Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli
British Dictionary definitions for diligently


careful and persevering in carrying out tasks or duties
carried out with care and perseverance: diligent work
Derived Forms
diligently, adverb
Word Origin
C14: from Old French, from Latin dīligere to value, from dis- apart + legere to read
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
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Word Origin and History for diligently



mid-14c., from Old French diligent (14c.), from Latin diligentem "attentive, assiduous" (see diligence). Related: Diligently.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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