• synonyms


  1. exhausting a subject, topic, etc.; comprehensive; thorough: He published an exhaustive study of Greek vases.
  2. tending to exhaust or drain, as resources or strength: a protracted, exhaustive siege of illness.
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Origin of exhaustive

First recorded in 1780–90; exhaust + -ive
Related formsex·haus·tive·ly, adverbex·haus·tive·ness, nounnon·ex·haus·tive, adjectivenon·ex·haus·tive·ly, adverbnon·ex·haus·tive·ness, nounun·ex·haus·tive, adjectiveun·ex·haus·tive·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for exhaustiveness

Historical Examples

  • It does not pretend to exhaustiveness, though it will be found somewhat exhausting.

    The Nurserymatograph

    A Lawyer

  • Perhaps its chief quality is best described as that of exhaustiveness.

  • At that time there was no dictionary of any language and literature to be compared with this for exhaustiveness and accuracy.

  • The exhaustiveness with which an author treats any subject depends, first, on his knowledge.

    English: Composition and Literature

    W. F. (William Franklin) Webster

  • But this exhaustiveness of execution has different meanings according to the stand-points of those for whom it is made.

    Pedagogics as a System

    Karl Rosenkranz

British Dictionary definitions for exhaustiveness


  1. comprehensive in scope; thoroughan exhaustive survey
  2. tending to exhaust
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Derived Formsexhaustively, adverbexhaustiveness, 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

Word Origin and History for exhaustiveness



1780s, from exhaust + -ive. Related: Exhaustively; exhaustiveness.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper