Definition of effort in English:



  • 1A vigorous or determined attempt.

    ‘hammer birdhouses to country fenceposts in an effort to bring back the eastern bluebird’
    • ‘Smokeless braziers have been introduced in an effort to reduce air pollution in homes and the broader community.’
    • ‘And when their efforts again prove mostly fruitless, the cycle starts anew.’
    • ‘North Yorkshire County Council is to lobby the Government in an effort to reduce the use of disposable nappies.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Will the government's effort to marry off more low-income single parents ease poverty?’
    • ‘Today's efforts go far beyond the wellness fairs and free cholesterol screenings that first cropped up in the 1990s.’
    • ‘It has sold shares and assets and shed costs in an effort to reduce debt.’
    • ‘The first skateboard park at a Scottish school is set to open in an effort to battle teenage inactivity.’
    • ‘A post-mortem examination was being held yesterday in an effort to determine the exact cause of death.’
    • ‘A number of changes have been made in an effort to reduce the problems experienced in the past.’
    • ‘The implementation of this workplace smoking ban is crucial in an effort to reduce these unnecessary deaths.’
    • ‘Dieters often cut back on protein in an effort to reduce calories and lose weight.’
    • ‘The company said it will also dispose of 12,000 surplus freight cars in an effort to reduce costs.’
    • ‘Clean Calgary and the City of Calgary are teaming up again in an effort to reduce the amount of garbage being generated locally.’
    • ‘Of course, some efforts only go so far.’
    • ‘In an effort to reduce the numbers of cars on the road, licence plates are rationed.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The warning has been made by the Royal Life Saving Society in an effort to reduce the number of drowning-deaths.’
    • ‘Eggs laid in the dovecote will be removed regularly in an effort to humanely reduce the size of the flock.’
    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’
      • ‘Hayden also saw a goal effort go narrowly wide in the 25th minute.’
      • ‘Apart from a few solo efforts, the Air Force team was no match at either end of the court in the men's games.’
      • ‘Those involved with the group are wished every success in their fine efforts.’
      • ‘Alan Walsh came close to reducing the deficit but his effort was wide of the mark.’
      • ‘She will pocket all the prize money his efforts bring in over the next year.’
      • ‘She had a fish theme to her headwear and secured a special prize for her efforts.’
      • ‘The efforts were entirely successful and a wonderful day was enjoyed by a very large number of people.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Her efforts were well worthwhile and, not surprisingly, the article won £1,000.’
      • ‘One of the more successful efforts is about a soldier home on leave.’
      • ‘The film was more visually successful than previous efforts.’
      achievement, accomplishment, performance, attainment, result, feat, deed, exploit, undertaking, enterprise
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    2. 1.2Strenuous physical or mental exertion.
      ‘the doctor spared no effort in helping my father’
      • ‘The sheer physical effort wasn't bad, but after a while the psychological pressure began to mount.’
      • ‘He used to suffer from bad headaches and had to avoid all mental effort.’
      • ‘Computers supply answers at the press of a key, with no mental effort needed.’
      • ‘The other things, like homework, require mental effort that they can see no result from and does not satisfy their needs.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I'm being sensible, keeping up the liquids and avoiding excessive physical effort but even so it's beginning to get to me.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He put huge physical and mental effort into achieving this goal, chasing his dream from his native Austria to London and on to California.’
      • ‘Using a bicycle or walking is definitely an alternative, but both require physical effort.’
      • ‘It takes a great deal of mental effort to keep in mind the fact that whatever is happening is just plain fiction.’
      • ‘And, in our own small way, we must try and make some kind of physical effort.’
      • ‘Irene and I managed to get to church together, which requires heroic effort on her part.’
      • ‘Both teams gave absolutely everything in terms of physical effort but neither quite had the cutting edge to break through.’
      • ‘She's also more easily distracted, so multitasking requires extra mental effort.’
      • ‘In the meantime I don't really feel much like blogging - it just requires too much mental effort at the moment.’
      • ‘We could organise a party here of course, but that requires more effort and energy than I currently have.’
      • ‘It requires a lot of effort, talent and hard work to make programming that sustains both critical and popular acclaim.’
      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. 1.3technical A force exerted by a machine or in a process.
      • ‘The speed reached by such a body depends on the ratio of the effort exerted to the resistance offered.’
      • ‘The tractive effort of the machine seems weak, especially in this deep snow that we have now.’
      • ‘They allow tailoring a machine's effort and energy to meet the load's requirements for optimum efficiency.’
      • ‘The mechanical advantage, which we shall call simply the advantage, is the ratio of the load to the effort.’
    4. 1.4[with modifier]The activities of a group of people with a common purpose.
      ‘the war effort’
      • ‘Children were also expected to contribute to the war effort in every way they could, with many leaving school to start work.’
      • ‘Seeing the reaction and the reception of the people so far, makes the war effort seem worthwhile.’
      • ‘An unprecedented joint team rescue effort was launched with Sherpas and westerners fighting to bring him back down.’
      • ‘Her initial duties were to take over clerical work from men who had joined the war effort.’
      • ‘He said that the two countries would co-ordinate their lobbying efforts.’
      • ‘They have begun to take key towns and cities and captured a critical port so that the humanitarian relief effort is already under way.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Following a concerted fundraising effort by the local community, Manorlands Hospice first opened its doors in 1974.’
      • ‘I wanted to help in the war effort, of course, but I was pulled in two different ways.’
      • ‘If you hamper the war effort on one side, you automatically help out that of the other.’
      • ‘War complicated the relief effort, but was not the primary problem.’
      • ‘Foremost is the need to develop a coherent policy framework to coordinate the reconstruction effort.’
      • ‘I am working to organize a disaster relief effort to help those affected by the Indian Ocean tsunami.’
      • ‘I was given a deferment because the work that was being done was essential to the war effort.’
      • ‘"It is urgent that students and professors who support the war effort not be intimidated, " they write.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘About 40 industry members have been recruited to work on the war effort.’
      • ‘The emergency relief effort has swung into massive action in New Orleans and along the Gulf.’
      • ‘He's heading the relief effort on behalf of the United Nations.’
      • ‘The biggest emergency aid effort in history was under way last night to bring relief to millions hit by the Asian tsunami.’


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