One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Operose character or quality; laboriousness, painstaking endeavour; elaborateness.
Early 17th century; earliest use found in George Abbot (1562–1633), archbishop of Canterbury. From classical Latin operōsitās elaborateness of construction, in post-classical Latin also laboriousness, painstaking endeavour (late 2nd or early 3rd cent. in Tertullian) from operōsus + -tās.
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