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From Latin operōsus.


operose (comparative more operose, superlative most operose)

  1. Wrought with, requiring, or evidencing a lot of labour; hence, tedious, wearisome.
    • 1662, Edward Stillingfleet, “The Truth of Scripture-History Asserted”, in Origines Sacrae, Or, A Rational Account of the Grounds of Christian Faith, as to the Truth and Divine Authority of the Scriptures, and Matters Therein Contained, 3rd edition, London: R. W. for Henry Mortlock, published 1666, page 103:
      when there was so great reason to make it common, since the square letters are less operose, more expedite and facile, then the Samaritan, which is, when time serves, used as a plea for their great Antiquity.
    • 1761, Adam Smith, “Of the Beauty which the Appearance of Utility Bestows upon All the Productions of Art, and of the Extensive Influence of This Species of Beauty”, in The Theory of Moral Sentiments, 2nd edition, London: Printed for A[ndrew] Millar, []; Edinburgh: A[lexander] Kincaid and J. Bell, OCLC 504648843, part IV (Of the Effect of Utility upon the Sentiment of Approbation), page 270:
      Power and riches appear then to be, what they are, enormous and operoſe machines contrived to produce a few trifling conveniencies to the body, []
  2. Of a person: busy, industrious, or painstaking.
    • 1805, William Godwin, chapter V, in Fleetwood; Or, The New Man of Feeling, London: Richard Bentley, published 1853, page 42:
      When this operose and hard-working student descended from his closet, and gained a sort of tacit leave from his tutor to join in the circle of us gay and high-spirited fellows, the part he played was no more advantageous to him, than his former exhibition had been among the learned.





  1. feminine plural of operoso




  1. vocative masculine singular of operōsus