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noun ef·fort \ˈe-fərt, -ˌfȯrt\

Simple Definition of effort

  • : work done by the mind or body : energy used to do something

  • : a serious attempt to do something

  • : something produced by work

Full Definition of effort

  1. 1 :  conscious exertion of power :  hard work <a job requiring time and effort>

  2. 2 :  a serious attempt :  try <making an effort to reduce costs>

  3. 3 :  something produced by exertion or trying <the novel was her most ambitious effort>

  4. 4 :  effective force as distinguished from the possible resistance called into action by such a force

  5. 5 :  the total work done to achieve a particular end <the war effort>

Examples of effort

  1. He put a lot of effort into finishing the project on time.

  2. It wasn't easy, but it was worth the effort.

  3. We need to expend more effort.

  4. The job will require a great deal of time and effort.

  5. Our success is due to the combined efforts of many people.

  6. Her efforts were rewarded with a new contract.

  7. He lost the campaign despite the best efforts of his supporters.

  8. Even though they didn't win, the team made a good effort.

  9. Her early efforts at writing a novel were awkward.

  10. Despite my best efforts, I never found out who she was.

Origin of effort

Middle French, from Old French esforz, esfort, from esforcier to force, from ex- + forcier to force

First Known Use: 15th century

EFFORT Defined for Kids


noun ef·fort \ˈe-fərt\

Definition of effort

  1. 1 :  hard physical or mental work :  exertion <The job took great effort.>

  2. 2 :  a serious attempt :  try <Make an effort to arrive on time.>

  3. 3 :  something produced by work <This photo is one of my best efforts.>

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up effort? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


February 13, 2016

a trying or distressing experience

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