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[in-duhs-tree-uh s] /ɪnˈdʌs tri əs/
working energetically and devotedly; hard-working; diligent:
an industrious person.
Obsolete. skillful.
Origin of industrious
1525-35; < Middle French industrie “cleverness, skill,” from Old French industrie “contrivance, device,” from Latin industrius “diligent, assiduous”; equivalent to indo-, by-form of in-in-2 + -struus, noun derivative of struere “to arrange, devise, build”
Related forms
industriously, adverb
industriousness, noun
nonindustrious, adjective
nonindustriously, adverb
nonindustriousness, noun
superindustrious, adjective
superindustriously, adverb
superindustriousness, noun
unindustrious, adjective
unindustriously, adverb
Can be confused
industrial, industrious.
1. assiduous, sedulous, energetic.
1. lazy, indolent.
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 industrious
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • There is a look of industrious nothingness about him, such as busy dogs have.

    Malbone Thomas Wentworth Higginson
  • The industrious and thrifty would be at the mercy of the lazy and wicked.

  • It was a mistake, then, was it, to be temperate and industrious?

    In the Valley Harold Frederic
  • Many examples of pit dwellings have been found by industrious explorers.

    English Villages P. H. Ditchfield
  • The great Cuvier was a singularly accurate, careful, and industrious observer.

    Self-Help Samuel Smiles
British Dictionary definitions for industrious


hard-working, diligent, or assiduous
an obsolete word for skilful
Derived Forms
industriously, adverb
industriousness, noun
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 industrious

"characterized by energy, effort, and attention," 1520s (implied in industriously), from Middle French industrieux and directly from Late Latin industriosus, from Latin industria (see industry). Retains the etymological sense. Related: Industriousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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