Looking for a verb to express something that requires some time and effort to evolve, like collecting. I want to express that collecting requires some time and the collection doesn't just come out from a smoke, all of a sudden. Any verb that describes this whole thing?


  • What's wrong with demanding? You might consider time-consuming. Apr 7, 2015 at 12:28
  • It feels like time-consuming has kind of a negative connotation. I'm looking for a verb that describes that the hobby of collecting requires some time. It doesn't necessarily consumes one's time.
    – ghostnote
    Apr 7, 2015 at 12:38
  • How about the NYC Library lions: "Patience" and "Fortitude".
    – Oldbag
    Apr 7, 2015 at 12:45
  • Apparently about 2640 writers have referred to a time-consuming hobby, which is perfectly ordinary use of English. I don't understand the distinction you're making between time-consuming and requires some time - I can only assume you're a non-native speaker and that figurative consuming doesn't work the same way in your native language. Apr 7, 2015 at 13:04
  • Time-consuming, to me, has an onerous connotation. But, I cannot think of a single word though for a satisfying hobby or project that develops over time
    – Lynxear
    Apr 7, 2015 at 16:25

2 Answers 2


Although the poster explicitly asks (twice) for a verb referring "to something 'demanding' which doesn't happen all of a sudden," I don't think that a verb can be expected to carry that much freight. To me, it makes more sense to use a modifier (like time-consuming, mentioned in FumbleFingers's comment above) or a noun (like patience or fortitude, mentioned in Oldbag's comment), or a phrase combining the two.

So I suggest the phrase an immersive activity, which indicates that the activity thoroughly occupies both one's time and one's attention. Another option is an absorbing pursuit, which conveys a similar sense of time commitment and mental engagement.

Update (November 4, 2015): Stand-alone adjectives that might be used to describe a process that requires a substantial time commitment include accretive (from accretion, which means "the process of growth or enlargement by a gradual buildup" according to Merriam-Webster's Eleventh Collegiate Dictionary) and painstaking ("expending, showing, or involving diligent care and effort," again according to the Eleventh Collegiate).


How about slow-burning:

slow-paced but compelling ⇒ ■ a slow-burning comedy (-- Collins)

It's used to describe relationships, I don't know why it shouldn't be used for pastimes or activities.

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