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[dil-i-juh ns] /ˈdɪl ɪ dʒəns/
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.
Origin of diligence1
1300-50; Middle English deligence (< Anglo-French) < Latin dīligentia, equivalent to dīligent- (stem of dīligēns) diligent + -ia; see -ence


[dil-i-juh ns; French dee-lee-zhahns] /ˈdɪl ɪ dʒəns; French di liˈʒɑ̃s/
noun, plural diligences
[dil-i-juh n-siz; French dee-lee-zhahns] /ˈdɪl ɪ dʒən sɪz; French di liˈʒɑ̃s/ (Show IPA)
a public stagecoach, especially as formerly used in France.
1735-45; short for French carosse de diligence speed coach Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for diligence
  • 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.
  • Daley brings to the job a fantastic fund of energy and diligence.
  • You need to go through your due diligence just as you would looking at a stock for the first time.
  • Exercise due diligence in determining which vendors best suit your needs before signing on the dotted line.
  • They tackle the often unfamiliar job with uncommon diligence.
  • The payoff for diligence, though, is a car that will turn heads wherever you drive.
  • Nor did college officials' due diligence end there.
British Dictionary definitions for diligence


steady and careful application
proper attention or care
(law) the degree of care required in a given situation
Word Origin
C14: from Latin dīligentia care, attentiveness


/ˈdɪlɪdʒəns; French diliʒɑ̃s/
(history) a stagecoach
Word Origin
C18: from French, shortened from carosse de diligence, literally: coach of speed
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
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Word Origin and History for diligence

mid-14c., from Old French diligence "attention, care; haste, speed," from Latin diligentia "attentiveness, carefulness," from diligentem (nominative diligens) "attentive, assiduous, careful," originally present participle of diligere "single out, value highly, esteem, prize, love; aspire to, be content with, appreciate," originally "to pick out, select," from dis- "apart" (see dis-) + legere "choose, gather" (see lecture (n.)).

Sense evolved from "love" through "attentiveness" to "carefulness" to "steady effort." From the secondary French sense comes the old useage of diligence for "public stage coach" (1742; dilly for short), from a French shortening of carrosse de diligence.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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