Definition of effort in English:



  • 1A vigorous or determined attempt.

    ‘in an effort to reduce inflation, the government increased interest rates’
    • ‘The first skateboard park at a Scottish school is set to open in an effort to battle teenage inactivity.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Dieters often cut back on protein in an effort to reduce calories and lose weight.’
    • ‘It has sold shares and assets and shed costs in an effort to reduce debt.’
    • ‘Smokeless braziers have been introduced in an effort to reduce air pollution in homes and the broader community.’
    • ‘Will the government's effort to marry off more low-income single parents ease poverty?’
    • ‘And when their efforts again prove mostly fruitless, the cycle starts anew.’
    • ‘A number of changes have been made in an effort to reduce the problems experienced in the past.’
    • ‘A post-mortem examination was being held yesterday in an effort to determine the exact cause of death.’
    • ‘Today's efforts go far beyond the wellness fairs and free cholesterol screenings that first cropped up in the 1990s.’
    • ‘The company said it will also dispose of 12,000 surplus freight cars in an effort to reduce costs.’
    • ‘Of course, some efforts only go so far.’
    • ‘A department store is offering customers a parking fee refund in an effort to spark a campaign to lure shoppers back into York city centre.’
    • ‘Primary schools launched a safety campaign yesterday in an effort to prevent child deaths on our roads.’
    • ‘Clean Calgary and the City of Calgary are teaming up again in an effort to reduce the amount of garbage being generated locally.’
    • ‘The implementation of this workplace smoking ban is crucial in an effort to reduce these unnecessary deaths.’
    • ‘In an effort to reduce the numbers of cars on the road, licence plates are rationed.’
    • ‘North Yorkshire County Council is to lobby the Government in an effort to reduce the use of disposable nappies.’
    • ‘Eggs laid in the dovecote will be removed regularly in an effort to humanely reduce the size of the flock.’
    • ‘The warning has been made by the Royal Life Saving Society in an effort to reduce the number of drowning-deaths.’
    try, attempt, endeavour, strive, seek, exert oneself, do one's best, labour, work, toil, struggle, apply oneself
    undertake, aim, set out, take it on oneself
    have a bash, have a crack, have a go, have a shot, have a stab
    give it a burl, give it a fly
    attempt, try, endeavour
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    1. 1.1The result of an attempt.
      ‘he was a keen gardener, winning many prizes for his efforts’
      • ‘She had a fish theme to her headwear and secured a special prize for her efforts.’
      • ‘Alan Walsh came close to reducing the deficit but his effort was wide of the mark.’
      • ‘Those involved with the group are wished every success in their fine efforts.’
      • ‘Henri Camara has Celtic's first shot, a decent effort forcing Valdes into a diving but comfortable save.’
      • ‘Helliwell almost bagged a goal with an effort that forced a superb save from the visitors' keeper.’
      • ‘The film was more visually successful than previous efforts.’
      • ‘One of the more successful efforts is about a soldier home on leave.’
      • ‘Hayden also saw a goal effort go narrowly wide in the 25th minute.’
      • ‘She will pocket all the prize money his efforts bring in over the next year.’
      • ‘Their latest effort looks set to continue the journey towards making them one of the biggest bands in the world - and deservedly so.’
      • ‘Graham and the team have now been presented with a wooden spoon booby prize for their efforts.’
      • ‘Apart from a few solo efforts, the Air Force team was no match at either end of the court in the men's games.’
      • ‘Her efforts were well worthwhile and, not surprisingly, the article won £1,000.’
      • ‘The efforts were entirely successful and a wonderful day was enjoyed by a very large number of people.’
      achievement, accomplishment, performance, attainment, result, feat, deed, exploit, undertaking, enterprise
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    2. 1.2[mass noun]Strenuous physical or mental exertion.
      ‘achieving independence requires some effort and self-discipline’
      • ‘He put huge physical and mental effort into achieving this goal, chasing his dream from his native Austria to London and on to California.’
      • ‘Moreover, modern rifles don't possess bows or strings either, and require little physical effort to load.’
      • ‘I'm being sensible, keeping up the liquids and avoiding excessive physical effort but even so it's beginning to get to me.’
      • ‘With a little more mental effort from wise people like yourselves, it could be improved.’
      • ‘Computers supply answers at the press of a key, with no mental effort needed.’
      • ‘Both teams gave absolutely everything in terms of physical effort but neither quite had the cutting edge to break through.’
      • ‘And, in our own small way, we must try and make some kind of physical effort.’
      • ‘The other things, like homework, require mental effort that they can see no result from and does not satisfy their needs.’
      • ‘Irene and I managed to get to church together, which requires heroic effort on her part.’
      • ‘In the meantime I don't really feel much like blogging - it just requires too much mental effort at the moment.’
      • ‘The sheer physical effort wasn't bad, but after a while the psychological pressure began to mount.’
      • ‘It takes a great deal of mental effort to keep in mind the fact that whatever is happening is just plain fiction.’
      • ‘This is not so much due to time constraints as due to the fact that I don't feel like putting intense mental effort into it.’
      • ‘She's also more easily distracted, so multitasking requires extra mental effort.’
      • ‘He used to suffer from bad headaches and had to avoid all mental effort.’
      • ‘It then took only a slight mental effort to isolate a moment within that time stream and to observe it.’
      • ‘The effort he puts into his swing is not a great amount of physical effort.’
      • ‘It requires a lot of effort, talent and hard work to make programming that sustains both critical and popular acclaim.’
      • ‘We could organise a party here of course, but that requires more effort and energy than I currently have.’
      • ‘Using a bicycle or walking is definitely an alternative, but both require physical effort.’
      exertion, force, power, energy, work, muscle, application, labour, the sweat of one's brow, striving, endeavour, toil, struggle, slog, strain, stress, trouble, bother
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    3. 1.3[with modifier]The activities of a group of people with a common purpose.
      ‘the war effort’
      • ‘I am working to organize a disaster relief effort to help those affected by the Indian Ocean tsunami.’
      • ‘About 40 industry members have been recruited to work on the war effort.’
      • ‘Her initial duties were to take over clerical work from men who had joined the war effort.’
      • ‘War complicated the relief effort, but was not the primary problem.’
      • ‘The biggest emergency aid effort in history was under way last night to bring relief to millions hit by the Asian tsunami.’
      • ‘Children were also expected to contribute to the war effort in every way they could, with many leaving school to start work.’
      • ‘If you hamper the war effort on one side, you automatically help out that of the other.’
      • ‘An unprecedented joint team rescue effort was launched with Sherpas and westerners fighting to bring him back down.’
      • ‘The emergency relief effort has swung into massive action in New Orleans and along the Gulf.’
      • ‘Foremost is the need to develop a coherent policy framework to coordinate the reconstruction 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.’
      • ‘He's heading the relief effort on behalf of the United Nations.’
      • ‘Seeing the reaction and the reception of the people so far, makes the war effort seem worthwhile.’
      • ‘Following a concerted fundraising effort by the local community, Manorlands Hospice first opened its doors in 1974.’
      • ‘He moved to England to take part in the war effort and initially worked as a surgeon in London's east end, treating civilian casualties.’
      • ‘"It is urgent that students and professors who support the war effort not be intimidated, " they write.’
      • ‘At first Mrs Bounds suggested people should simply donate cash to the relief effort, keen not to get in the way of work the aid agencies were doing.’
      • ‘I wanted to help in the war effort, of course, but I was pulled in two different ways.’
      • ‘I was given a deferment because the work that was being done was essential to the war effort.’
      • ‘He said that the two countries would co-ordinate their lobbying efforts.’
  • 2technical A force exerted by a machine or in a process.

    • ‘The mechanical advantage, which we shall call simply the advantage, is the ratio of the load to the effort.’
    • ‘They allow tailoring a machine's effort and energy to meet the load's requirements for optimum efficiency.’
    • ‘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.’


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