be at pains


be at pains
• to take pains
• be at pains
to take the trouble to get something or do something; to try to do something

... a queer, penetrating look mingled, too, with intelligent interest which, as our eyes met, he took pains to conceal. (A. Cronin)

They took pains not to stand next to one another or begin any private discussion (J. Wain)

Now that her means were adequate she took great pains with her dress (W. S. Maugham)

She had taken pains to foster his suspicion. (W. S. Maugham)

He never gave a glance at the room I had been at pains to make pleasing to the eye. (W. S. Maugham)


Idioms and examples. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Pains — (p[=a]nz), n. Labor; toilsome effort; care or trouble taken; plural in form, but used with a singular or plural verb, commonly the former. [1913 Webster] And all my pains is sorted to no proof. Shak. [1913 Webster] The pains they had taken was… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • pains — pains; pains·tak·ing; pains·tak·ing·ly; pains·tak·ing·ness; …   English syllables

  • pains´tak´ing|ly — pains|tak|ing «PAYNZ TAY kihng», adjective, noun. –adj. 1. very careful; particular; scrupulous: »a painstaking writer. SYNONYM(S): assiduous. 2. marked or characterized by attentive care; carefully done: »a painstaking reproduction. –n. the… …   Useful english dictionary

  • pains|tak|ing — «PAYNZ TAY kihng», adjective, noun. –adj. 1. very careful; particular; scrupulous: »a painstaking writer. SYNONYM(S): assiduous. 2. marked or characterized by attentive care; carefully done: »a painstaking reproduction. –n. the taking of pains;… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Pains, Minas Gerais — Pains is a Brazilian municipality located in the center of the state of Minas Gerais. Its population as of 2007 was 8,122 people living in a total area of 418 km². The city belongs to the meso region of Oeste de Minas and to the micro region of… …   Wikipedia

  • pains — index burden, effort, endeavor, labor (exertion), struggle Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • pains — *effort, exertion, trouble Analogous words: labor, toil, travail, *work: industriousness or industry, diligence, sedulousness, assiduousness (see corresponding adjectives at BUSY) …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • pains'takingly — adverb • • • Main Entry: ↑pain …   Useful english dictionary

  • pains — noun an effortful attempt to attain a goal (Freq. 4) • Syn: ↑striving, ↑nisus, ↑strain • Derivationally related forms: ↑strenuous (for: ↑strain), ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • pains — n. trouble 1) to go to, spare no, take pains to + inf. (she took great pains to get her message across) physical suffering 2) (med.) labor pains 3) growing * * * take pains to + inf. (she took great pains to get her message across) [ physical… …   Combinatory dictionary

  • Pains, growing — Mysterious pains in growing children, usually in the legs. These pains are similar to what the weekend gardener suffers from on Monday—an overuse type of problem. If in playing, children exceed their regular threshold, they will be sore,… …   Medical dictionary