Definition of effort in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈefərt/


1A vigorous or determined attempt: hammer birdhouses to country fenceposts in an effort to bring back the eastern bluebird
More example sentences
  • Clean Calgary and the City of Calgary are teaming up again in an effort to reduce the amount of garbage being generated locally.
  • Mr Fuller added that the school has made sacrifices in expenditure and eight staff have taken promotions with no pay rise in an effort to reduce costs.
  • The warning has been made by the Royal Life Saving Society in an effort to reduce the number of drowning-deaths.
attempt, try, endeavor
informal crack, shot, stab
formal essay
1.1The result of an attempt: he was a keen gardener, winning many prizes for his efforts
More example sentences
  • She had a fish theme to her headwear and secured a special prize for her efforts.
  • She will pocket all the prize money his efforts bring in over the next year.
  • Graham and the team have now been presented with a wooden spoon booby prize for their efforts.
achievement, accomplishment, attainment, result, feat;
undertaking, enterprise, work;
triumph, success, coup
1.2Strenuous physical or mental exertion: the doctor spared no effort in helping my father
More example sentences
  • He put huge physical and mental effort into achieving this goal, chasing his dream from his native Austria to London and on to California.
  • In the meantime I don't really feel much like blogging - it just requires too much mental effort at the moment.
  • Using a bicycle or walking is definitely an alternative, but both require physical effort.
exertion, energy, work, endeavor, application, labor, power, muscle, toil, strain
informal sweat, elbow grease
1.3 technical A force exerted by a machine or in a process.
Example sentences
  • The tractive effort of the machine seems weak, especially in this deep snow that we have now.
  • The speed reached by such a body depends on the ratio of the effort exerted to the resistance offered.
  • The mechanical advantage, which we shall call simply the advantage, is the ratio of the load to the effort.
1.4 [with modifier] The activities of a group of people with a common purpose: the war effort
More example sentences
  • War complicated the relief effort, but was not the primary problem.
  • About 40 industry members have been recruited to work on the war effort.
  • They have begun to take key towns and cities and captured a critical port so that the humanitarian relief effort is already under way.



Example sentences
  • Shopping for cars turns out to be even less interesting and more effortful than shopping for shoes.
  • It is a commonly reported experience that improvement in golf, as in any highly skilled behavior, requires extensive and effortful practice with feedback.
  • Yoga practice is not necessarily relaxing; it trains us to be centered, awake, confident and flexible within effortful situations.


Example sentences
  • And try as they might, the cast don't breathe life into the play's effortfully rhyming lyrics and his clunky dialogue.
  • A frail, impossibly iconic 24-year-old, he is self - effacing and enigmatic to the point where you begin to suspect an effortfully concealed self-regard.
  • The acting in all this is earnestly, effortfully bland.


Late 15th century: from French, from Old French esforcier, based on Latin ex- 'out' + fortis 'strong'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ef·fort

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