[peynz-tey-king, peyn-stey-]


taking or characterized by taking pains or trouble; expending or showing diligent care and effort; careful: a painstaking craftsman; painstaking research.


careful and diligent effort.

Origin of painstaking

First recorded in 1550–60; pain + -s3 + taking
Related formspains·tak·ing·ly, adverbpains·tak·ing·ness, noun

Synonyms for painstaking

Synonym study

1. Painstaking, careful, meticulous, conscientious all describe persons or behavior demonstrating attention to detail and effective task performance. painstaking stresses diligent and assiduous attention to detail in achieving a desired objective: a painstaking technician; the painstaking editing of a manuscript. Careful , the most general in sense of these words, implies serious intent to perform well and accurately whatever task one has in hand: a careful housepainter; a careful study of the social structure of gangs. Meticulous suggests extreme attention to details, especially the most minute, coupled with an almost obsessive desire to avoid error: a meticulous silversmith, every detail finished to perfection; fussily meticulous about matching shoes and clothing. Conscientious stresses scrupulous effort to obey one's sense of moral obligation to perform tasks well: a conscientious public defender; a conscientious description of the robbery. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for painstaking

Contemporary Examples of painstaking

Historical Examples of painstaking

  • No science or painstaking can make up for his not doing this.

    Albert Durer

    T. Sturge Moore

  • Excellence in art, as in everything else, can only be achieved by dint of painstaking labour.


    Samuel Smiles

  • But there should have been painstaking investigation, even after the fact.

    Pariah Planet

    Murray Leinster

  • Then it equally concerns them both to be painstaking and prodigal of toil in all their doings?

  • This book is the result of painstaking tests and experiments.


    Leon Luther Pray

British Dictionary definitions for painstaking



extremely careful, esp as to fine detailpainstaking research
Derived Formspainstakingly, adverbpainstakingness, 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 painstaking

1550s (n.), 1690s (adj.), paynes taking, from plural of pain (n.) + present participle of take (v.). Related: Painstakingly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper