Also found in: Thesaurus, Wikipedia.


Marked by persevering, painstaking effort.

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin dīligēns, dīligent-, present participle of dīligere, to esteem, love : dī-, dis-, apart; see dis- + legere, to choose; see leg- in Indo-European roots.]

dil′i·gent·ly adv.
Synonyms: diligent, industrious, conscientious, assiduous, sedulous
These adjectives suggest steady attention and effort that is undertaken to accomplish something. Diligent connotes steady, meticulous attention to an ongoing job or task: "[They] have won international renown for their diligent efforts to track down software bugs" (Hiawatha Bray).
Industrious implies energetic and productive application, often to a large or important endeavor: "Madison's and Jefferson's vision of an agrarian republic made up largely of industrious farmers who marketed their burgeoning surpluses abroad" (Drew R. McCoy).
Conscientious carries with it the implication of energetic attentiveness springing from dutifulness or a sense of responsibility: "a studious, conscientious public servant authentically dedicated to improving the welfare of his fellow human beings" (Randall Bennett Woods).
Assiduous and the less common sedulous emphasize untiring exertion and an earnestness of purpose: "How do Olympians acquire [talent]? Were they born with it, or did they develop it through assiduous practice?" (Steve Olson)."the sedulous pursuit of legal and moral principles" (Ernest van den Haag).
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adv.1.diligently - with diligence; in a diligent manner; "we may diligently observe the Lord's supper on the first day of the week, diligently preach the gospel, or minister to the saint"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


[ˈdɪlɪdʒəntlɪ] ADVdiligentemente
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


advfleißig; (= keenly)eifrig; (= carefully)sorgfältig
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[ˈdɪlɪdʒntlɪ] advdiligentemente
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(ˈdilidʒənt) adjective
conscientious; hardworking. a diligent student.
ˈdiligently adverb
ˈdiligence noun
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.
References in classic literature ?
"That," said the Fool, diligently belabouring the animal, "is what I'm trying to teach this beast - which has kicked me."
I have now returned to work, and am applying myself diligently to my duties.
As I write, now, many months later, I perceive that each of us, by observing and noting and inquiring, diligently and day by day, had managed to lay in a most varied and opulent stock of misinformation.
Despite the indifference to the affairs of the world he had expressed to Pierre, he diligently followed all that went on, received many books, and to his surprise noticed that when he or his father had visitors from Petersburg, the very vortex of life, these people lagged behind himself- who never left the country- in knowledge of what was happening in home and foreign affairs.
He said no more, but taking his tools and two pieces of wood, he set to work diligently.
In almost no time his flowing reasonings carried him to the point of even half believing he was doing Roxy a splendid surreptitious service in selling her "down the river." And then he kept diligently saying to himself all the time: "It's for only a year.
That which to him was a great evil, to be carefully shunned, was to me a great good, to be diligently sought; and the argument which he so warmly urged, against my learning to read, only served to inspire me with a desire and determina- tion to learn.
Indeed, some part of each day we had spent diligently learning each other, as travellers to distant lands across the Channel work hard at phrase-book and Baedeker the week before their departure.
Nothing ever happened in that little town, left behind by the advance of civilisation, and one year followed the next till death came, like a friend, to give rest to those who had laboured so diligently.
A modest gentleman shrinking from the distinction of private life and diligently seeking the honorable obscurity of public office.
A short-handled sharp spade being sent up to him, he diligently searches for the proper place to begin breaking into the Tun.
And well he might be; for so diligently did he labor, that, in a few years, his pockets, his money- bags, and his strong box were overflowing with pine-tree shillings.