ef·​fort·​ful ˈe-fərt-fəl How to pronounce effortful (audio)
: showing or requiring effort
effortfully adverb
effortfulness noun

Example Sentences

the book's abstruse subject matter and dense prose make for effortful reading
Recent Examples on the Web Proactive savoring demands the effortful allocation of time and energy to create a positive experience da capo (from the beginning). Forbes, 21 June 2022 On the contrary, their scrambly, effortful styles put Federer’s qualities into even sharper focus. Kevin Craft, The Atlantic, 15 Sep. 2022 Multitasking has become a little bit more effortful. Aria Bendix, NBC News, 7 Sep. 2022 Their sound unrefined and their performance effortful, these singers were compelling in a way professionals couldn’t be. New York Times, 1 July 2022 Holmes’s famous Muppet baritone becomes a facet of her effortful social clumsiness. Molly Fischer, The New Yorker, 13 June 2022 But doing so always feels subtly effortful, like speaking a fluent but not native second language. Alex Hutchinson, Outside Online, 28 May 2022 Ken Ueno’s score is subtly chant-like, serving less to announce itself as to empower the performers on their effortful path to self-expression. Los Angeles Times, 15 Apr. 2022 Her supportiveness sounded the slightest bit effortful. Rachel Syme, The New Yorker, 29 Nov. 2021 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1895, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of effortful was circa 1895

Dictionary Entries Near effortful

Cite this Entry

“Effortful.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/effortful. Accessed 3 Dec. 2022.

More from Merriam-Webster on effortful

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

Odd Habits and Quirks

  • image1926873504
  • Which of the following best describes an easily irritated person?
Name That Thing

You know what it looks like… but what is it called?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.