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- (now rare) Of a person: busy, industrious, or painstaking. [from 16th c.]
- 1805, William Godwin, chapter V, in Fleetwood, 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.
- (now rare) Made with or requiring a lot of labour; painstaking, laborious. [from 17th c.]
- 1761, Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, 2nd edition, London: […] A[ndrew] Millar, […]; Edinburgh: A[lexander] Kincaid and J. Bell, OCLC 504648843, part IV, 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 […]
- (now rare) 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.