ef·​fort | \ˈe-fərt, -ˌfȯrt\

Definition of effort 

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

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

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

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

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

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Examples of effort in a Sentence

He put a lot of effort into finishing the project on time. It wasn't easy, but it was worth the effort. We need to expend more effort. The job will require a great deal of time and effort. Our success is due to the combined efforts of many people. Her efforts were rewarded with a new contract. He lost the campaign despite the best efforts of his supporters. Even though they didn't win, the team made a good effort. Her early efforts at writing a novel were awkward. Despite my best efforts, I never found out who she was.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The agreement also included increased spending on social services and infrastructure and improved tax collection in an effort to modernize the economy of one of the poorest nations in the Western Hemisphere. Ezequiel Abiu Lopez And Evens Sanon, chicagotribune.com, "Haiti's prime minister resigns after plan to raise fuel prices sparked deadly protests," 14 July 2018 Investigators are studying surveillance video from the area in an effort to get a better description. Philly.com, "Philadelphia developer stabbed to death near Rittenhouse Square," 13 July 2018 The United Nations Foundation was a founding partner in the effort. Sara Morrison, USA TODAY, "In developing world, an expensive push to reduce cooking fire deaths falls short," 13 July 2018 Generally considered the best catching prospect in the game, Mejia has also spent time in the outfield corners this season in an effort to find other routes to the Majors. Ted Berg, For The Win, "7 MLB prospects to watch at the 2018 Futures Game," 13 July 2018 The bold move comes a month after President Trump met with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un in an effort to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula. Ryan Gaydos, Fox News, "Russian military planes violate South Korean air defense zone four times, report says," 13 July 2018 Underscoring the sensitivity of the issue, several business and political leaders involved in the effort declined to comment publicly for a story. Steve Harrison And Jim Morrill, charlotteobserver, "Why did council Democrats wait to oppose RNC? An inside look at Charlotte’s bid.," 13 July 2018 The Trump administration denied a steel pipe manufacturer in Baytown a temporary exemption on steel tariffs, but the company has vowed to continue the fight in an effort to reduce the cost of importing pipe from its parent in Turkey. Katherine Blunt, Houston Chronicle, "Baytown steel plant denied steel tariff exemption," 12 July 2018 The districts have posted job openings, advertised in their communities and conducted job fairs this summer in an effort to recruit potential hires, officials said. Rafael Guerrero, Elgin Courier-News, "Elgin-area school districts still looking for bus drivers but don't expect start-of-school problems," 12 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'effort.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of effort

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for effort

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

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Statistics for effort

Last Updated

5 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for effort

The first known use of effort was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for effort



English Language Learners 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


ef·​fort | \ˈe-fərt \

Kids Definition of effort

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

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

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

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Comments on effort

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


obstinately defiant of authority

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