effort

noun
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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Successful companies continued funding efforts such as research and development, new business lines and focused marketing campaigns throughout the recession, helping them win market share and expand reach, Bain said. Tatyana Shumsky, WSJ, "CFOs Fear a Recession Is Coming. Preparation Will Help Them Stand Out," 16 May 2019 In recent years, Pinault has ramped up Kering’s sustainability efforts alongside Marie-Claire Daveu, his chief sustainability officer and head of international institutional affairs. Emily Farra, Vogue, "At the Copenhagen Fashion Summit, Kering’s François-Henri Pinault Shares a Radical New Vision of Sustainability," 16 May 2019 In already fragile health ecosystems, these efforts to ban abortions could cost women their lives. Lauren Rankin, Teen Vogue, "Alabama's Abortion Ban Is Dangerous, and it May Even Be Deadly," 16 May 2019 Dave VanderWerp has spent more than 15 years in the automotive industry, in varied roles from engineering to product consulting, and now leading Car and Driver's vehicle-testing efforts. Dave Vanderwerp, Car and Driver, "Dave VanderWerp," 14 May 2019 Turn it up to the higher levels of assist and even a steep uphill grade requires moderate effort. Andrew Moseman, Popular Mechanics, "E-Biking My Way Through New York's Five Boro Bike Tour," 9 May 2019 It was read at countless memorial services, used in efforts to recruit soldiers and reprinted in countless publications, including Ladies Home Journal. Elissa Sanci, Good Housekeeping, "Everything You Need to Know About the Symbolism Behind Memorial Day Poppies," 9 May 2019 Last year, the event raised £63.7 million for various philanthropic efforts, setting a world record for an annual single day charity fundraising event for a twelfth successive year. Elizabeth Angell, Town & Country, "Prince Harry Will Make a Surprise Appearance at the London Marathon Today," 28 Apr. 2019 Individual donors can’t typically do much to speed search-and-rescue efforts. Kelsey Piper, Vox, "Why disaster relief is so hard," 25 Mar. 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about effort

Statistics for effort

Last Updated

21 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for effort

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for effort

effort

noun

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

effort

noun
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.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on effort

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with effort

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for effort

Spanish Central: Translation of effort

Nglish: Translation of effort for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of effort for Arabic Speakers

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).

WORD OF THE DAY

a strong desire or propensity

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!