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 formsdil·i·gent·ly, adverbdil·i·gent·ness, nounnon·dil·i·gent, adjectivenon·dil·i·gent·ly, adverbo·ver·dil·i·gent, adjectiveo·ver·dil·i·gent·ly, adverbo·ver·dil·i·gent·ness, nounpre·dil·i·gent, adjectivepre·dil·i·gent·ly, adverbun·dil·i·gent, adjectiveun·dil·i·gent·ly, adverb

Synonyms for diligent

Synonym study

1. See busy.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for diligently

Contemporary Examples of diligently

Historical Examples of diligently

  • 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.


    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 perseverancediligent work
Derived Formsdiligently, adverb

Word Origin for diligent

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

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