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1. Involving great labor; laborious.
2. Industrious; diligent.

[Latin operōsus, from opus, oper-, work; see op- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

op′er·ose′ly adv.
op′er·ose′ness n.


1. laborious
2. industrious; busy
[C17: from Latin operōsus painstaking, from opus work]
ˈoperˌosely adv
ˈoperˌoseness, operosity n


(ˈɒp əˌroʊs)

done with or involving much labor; tedious.
[1660–70; < Latin operōsus busy, active =oper- (s. of opus) work + -ōsus -ose1]
op′er•ose`ly, adv.
op′er•ose`ness, n.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.operose - characterized by effort to the point of exhaustionoperose - characterized by effort to the point of exhaustion; especially physical effort; "worked their arduous way up the mining valley"; "a grueling campaign"; "hard labor"; "heavy work"; "heavy going"; "spent many laborious hours on the project"; "set a punishing pace"
effortful - requiring great physical effort
References in periodicals archive ?
When the stories cross over into an almost self-consciously operose quest for "significance," as "Nails" and "Stones" do, it is hard not to question the choice to make this collection more broadly available.
After nearly 18 months of operose negotiations, John Kerry, the de facto leader of the Western negotiators, and Javad Zarif, Iran's gregarious, yet judicious, Foreign Minister, have ultimately arrived at a juncture whereby the mutual interests shared by the parties, outweigh past transgressions.
Where Browning examines humanity "with the firm knowing hand of the anatomist," the "professed doctors of psychology" cannot offer more than "dry operose quackery" (172).