conscientious vs painstaking what difference

what is difference between conscientious and painstaking



From Middle French conscientieux, from Medieval Latin cōnscientiōsus.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˌkɒnʃiˈɛnʃəs/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˌkɑnʃiˈɛnʃəs/


conscientious (comparative more conscientious, superlative most conscientious)

  1. Thorough, careful, or vigilant in one’s task performance.
  2. Influenced by conscience; governed by a strict regard to the dictates of conscience, or by the known or supposed rules of right and wrong (said of a person).


  • capricious
  • impulsive

Derived terms

  • conscientiously
  • conscientiousness
  • conscientious objector

Related terms

  • conscience


Further reading

  • conscientious in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.
  • conscientious in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.
  • “vigilance” in Roget’s Thesaurus, T. Y. Crowell Co., 1911.


Alternative forms

  • (archaic) pains-taking


From pains +‎ taking.


  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈpeɪnˌsteɪkɪŋ/
  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈpeɪnzˌteɪkɪŋ/


painstaking (comparative more painstaking, superlative most painstaking)

  1. Carefully attentive to details; diligent in performing a process or procedure.
    • 1781, James Harris, Philological Inquiries
      All these painstaking men, considered together, may be said to have completed another species of criticism.


  • See also Thesaurus:industrious
  • See also Thesaurus:meticulous

Derived terms

  • painstakingly, painstakingness



painstaking (countable and uncountable, plural painstakings)

  1. The application of careful and attentive effort.
    • c. 1836, Thomas Chalmers, Lectures on the Romans
      It is not by a flight of imagination that you gain the ascents of spiritual experience. It is by the toils and the watchings and the painstakings of a solid obedience.
    • 1852, Nathaniel Langdon Frothingham, Sermons in the Order of a Twelvemonth, “Sermon VI”
      Behold what an abundant recompense attends the small processes of the earth, with the help of a little warm air; and what wealthy returns the industry of the husbandman and the florist is preparing from a few seeds and painstakings.

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