ef·​fort | \ ˈe-fərt How to pronounce effort (audio) , -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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Halouska's clients appreciate her easygoing approach to grooming, which gives great results without too much time and effort. Cristina Montemayor, Men's Health, 13 May 2022 The plan was part of an effort to reduce crowding in the clubs as more travelers take to the skies. Kelly Yamanouchi, ajc, 12 May 2022 And while Democrats presumably had the votes to do one or the other as the chamber’s controlling party, nothing ever came of either effort. Paul Gattis | Pgattis@al.com, al, 10 May 2022 Fairfax County’s Board of Supervisors on Tuesday adopted a budget that lowers the residential property tax rate by three cents, part of an effort in Northern Virginia to help residents deal with the area’s rising cost of living. Washington Post, 10 May 2022 Don’t waste brand budget, time and effort pursuing vanity metrics like press mentions, website visits or net promoter scores. Scott Turner, Forbes, 6 May 2022 All of these things will save you time and effort in the cleaning process. Rebecca Norris, PEOPLE.com, 5 May 2022 The museum’s staff has allotted significant time and effort to reviving the Shepard’s suit. Alice George, Smithsonian Magazine, 4 May 2022 Ultimately, the late-April lawsuit primarily requests this data, along with damage values related to the time and effort required to request it. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, 4 May 2022 See More

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.

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

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Last Updated

15 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Effort.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/effort. Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for effort


ef·​fort | \ ˈe-fərt How to pronounce effort (audio) \

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.

More from Merriam-Webster on effort

Nglish: Translation of effort for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of effort for Arabic Speakers


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