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[in-duhs-tree-uh s] /ɪnˈdʌs tri əs/
working energetically and devotedly; hard-working; diligent:
an industrious person.
Obsolete. skillful.
Origin of industrious
1525-35; < Latin industrius diligent, assiduous, OL indostruus, perhaps equivalent to indo-, by-form of in- in2 + -struus, noun derivative of struere to arrange, devise, hence with presumed original sense “devising inwardly, secretly”
Related forms
industriously, adverb
industriousness, noun
nonindustrious, adjective
nonindustriously, adverb
nonindustriousness, noun
superindustrious, adjective
superindustriously, adverb
superindustriousness, noun
unindustrious, adjective
unindustriously, adverb
Can be confused
industrial, industrious.
1. assiduous, sedulous, energetic. See busy.
1. lazy, indolent. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for industrious
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Your appearance, too, shows that you have been industrious and economical, all of which pleases me very much.

    The Printer Boy. William M. Thayer
  • The industrious and thrifty would be at the mercy of the lazy and wicked.

  • The peasant woman is industrious, engaged in some useful employment about the house or in the field.

    Oriental Women Edward Bagby Pollard
  • Many examples of pit dwellings have been found by industrious explorers.

    English Villages P. H. Ditchfield
  • Don Saturnino was a silent young man with a violent disposition, even cruel at times, yet he was energetic and industrious.

    The Social Cancer Jos Rizal
British Dictionary definitions for industrious


hard-working, diligent, or assiduous
an obsolete word for skilful
Derived Forms
industriously, adverb
industriousness, 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
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Word Origin and History for industrious

"characterized by energy, effort, and attention," 1520s (implied in industriously), from Middle French industrieux and directly from Late Latin industriosus, from Latin industria (see industry). Retains the etymological sense. Related: Industriousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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