Definition of effort in English:



  • 1A vigorous or determined attempt.

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

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The mechanical advantage, which we shall call simply the advantage, is the ratio of the load to the effort.’


  • make an effort

    • Attempt to do something.

      ‘make an effort to do some kind of abdominal exercise’
      • ‘Motlanthe called on all South Africans to make an effort to learn each other's languages.’
      • ‘It would be polite to praise Wales for having made an effort.’
      • ‘I feel I need make an effort this time around.’
      • ‘In all of the above, we also make an effort to point at remaining gaps in our knowledge.’
      • ‘They waste their precious time thinking of Kamma without making an effort.’
      • ‘Make an effort to know about the people who are running for elected positions in your area.’
      • ‘All players are requested to make an effort to attend.’
      • ‘I think voters, Hispanic voters, react positively to the fact that they are making an effort to recognize a different language.’
      • ‘David made an effort to smile despite his grim expression.’
      • ‘Second, make an effort to replace any high-fat, highly refined foods in your diet with more nutritious fare.’
      try, attempt, endeavour, strive, seek, exert oneself, do one's best, labour, work, toil, struggle, apply oneself
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  • make every (or spare no)effort

    • Try everything possible to achieve something.

      ‘the doctor spared no effort in helping my father’
      • ‘With the 2008 Olympics less than a month away, China is making every effort to shed its austere image.’
      • ‘In such cases, we have made every effort to advise the reader of possible risks or hazards.’
      • ‘The secessionist/terrorist leaders made every effort to stall the elections.’
      • ‘Of course, doctors' principal duty is to make every effort to save a patient's life.’
      • ‘I will be making every effort to come close.’
      • ‘Finally, please be careful in your comments posted; we should all make every effort not to offend others with our remarks.’
      • ‘He said staff were now making every effort to encourage new applications for grants.’
      • ‘Surely, external agencies will make every effort to disrupt the process.’
      • ‘A winner all the way was coach/trainer Mary Morrissey who spared no effort at training sessions to both teams.’
      • ‘The nations who are anti-war need to make every effort to have dialogue with the men of violence.’
      try hard, strive, aim, aspire, venture, undertake, seek, make an effort, spare no effort, exert oneself, do one's best, do all one can, do one's utmost, attempt, give one's all, labour, work, toil, strain, struggle, apply oneself
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  • with effort

    • With physical difficulty.

      ‘'It's bad, sir', he said, controlling his voice with effort’
      • ‘With effort, speakers of the two dialects can understand each other's pronunciation, much the way Portuguese can comprehend Spanish.’
      • ‘Flushed with effort, gesticulating for emphasis, Healey dove for opportunities to drive her message home last night.’
      • ‘If it were gained through patience, with effort, and struggle, then it would be called knowledge.’
      • ‘It all starts with effort and it all starts with belief.’
      • ‘With effort, I drag the kayak into the water.’
      • ‘She gave a hard suck for emphasis, her pale cheeks pink with effort.’
      • ‘What Alstott lacks in breakaway speed, he makes up for with effort.’
      • ‘Sally takes a deep breath, shuddering with effort.’
      • ‘Practice is something you do consciously, something you do with effort.’
      • ‘Marcos tries to speak, his throat swells with effort.’
      with difficulty, after a struggle, with a struggle, painfully, arduously, laboriously, hard
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Late 15th century: from French, from Old French esforcier, based on Latin ex- ‘out’ + fortis ‘strong’.