1 [dil-i-juhns]
constant and earnest effort to accomplish what is undertaken; persistent exertion of body or mind.
Law. the degree of care and caution required by the circumstances of a person.
Obsolete. care; caution.

1300–50; Middle English deligence (< Anglo-French) < Latin dīligentia, equivalent to dīligent- (stem of dīligēns) diligent + -ia; see -ence

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2 [dil-i-juhns; French dee-lee-zhahns]
noun, plural diligences [dil-i-juhn-siz; French dee-lee-zhahns] .
a public stagecoach, especially as formerly used in France.

1735–45; short for French carosse de diligence speed coach

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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World English Dictionary
diligence1 (ˈdɪlɪdʒəns)
1.  steady and careful application
2.  proper attention or care
3.  law the degree of care required in a given situation
[C14: from Latin dīligentia care, attentiveness]

diligence2 (ˈdɪlɪdʒəns, French diliʒɑ̃s)
history a stagecoach
[C18: from French, shortened from carosse de diligence, literally: coach of speed]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

mid-14c., from O.Fr. diligence "attention, care," from L. diligentia "attentiveness, carefulness," from diligentem (nom. diligens) "attentive, assiduous, careful," originally prp. of diligere "value highly, love, choose," from dis- "apart" + legere "choose, gather" (see
lecture). Sense evolved from "love" through "attentiveness" to "carefulness" to "steady effort."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


large, four-wheeled, closed French stagecoach employed for long journeys. It was also used in England and was popular in both countries in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Learn more about diligence with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
The fast pace in which we live does not allow for thorough due-diligence and
  proper fact finding expeditions.
Without care and diligence thou shalt never get virtue.
If your diligence be not speedy I shall be there before you.
Also they provided a valuable service—economies of scale when it came to
  doing the necessary due diligence on investments.
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