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

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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

Trump has touted the overhaul as a rare bipartisan effort to address concerns that too many Americans were imprisoned for nonviolent crimes as a result of the drug war. Michael Balsamo, Anchorage Daily News, "Barr: Justice Department is ‘all in’ on criminal justice overhaul," 13 July 2019 Offseason additions at the heart of their backline (central backs Aljaz Struna and Maynor Figueroa) contributed to that improvement but so did a more proactive defensive effort from all 10 players in front of the keeper. Glynn A. Hill, Houston Chronicle, "Dynamo bolster defense by adding José Bizama," 12 July 2019 On the first, as head of Accenture’s U.S. business, Sweet has been part of a decade-long effort to remake Accenture into the leading adviser for companies seeking to harness the power of today’s technologies to revamp their businesses. Alan Murray, Fortune, "Accenture’s New CEO Takes On Digital Disruption, and Diversity: CEO Daily," 12 July 2019 This week, German economics minister Peter Altmaier traveled to Silicon Valley to meet with executives from Alphabet Inc. ’s Google, Apple Inc. and others, part of a continuing effort to raise Germany’s profile in digital industry. Sara Germano, WSJ, "Germany Inc. Shudders as Deutsche Bank, Others Face Upheaval," 12 July 2019 But this was far from you average route one effort. SI.com, "Peter Crouch: 9 of the Striker's Best Moments Following Retirement," 12 July 2019 The project is part of a larger effort to redevelop the Superior Arts District, which sits just east of downtown. Jordyn Grzelewski, cleveland.com, "Superior Arts District renaissance continues with conversion of former garment factory into housing, cafe," 12 July 2019 The event was part of a larger recruitment effort to hire thousands of employees. Kara Carlson, Dallas News, "To fill 1,200 jobs in Richardson, State Farm turns to technology for a virtual job fair," 11 July 2019 Progress had to be made through a system-wide effort that includes the involvement of patients and their families, among others changes. Samantha Lauriello, Health.com, "Diagnostic Errors Make Up One-Third of Serious Malpractice Claims, Study Shows," 11 July 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.

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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

16 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 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.

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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

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to complain fretfully

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