ef·​fort·​ful | \ ˈe-fərt-fəl How to pronounce effortful (audio) \

Definition of effortful

: showing or requiring effort

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Other Words from effortful

effortfully \ ˈe-​fərt-​fə-​lē How to pronounce effortfully (audio) \ adverb
effortfulness \ ˈe-​fərt-​fəl-​nəs How to pronounce effortfulness (audio) \ noun

Examples of effortful in a Sentence

the book's abstruse subject matter and dense prose make for effortful reading

Recent Examples on the Web

While the earliest work sometimes seems effortful, straining after images, the somewhat later work feels more natural and authentic. Nancy Lord, Anchorage Daily News, "New collection brings together Alaska poet John Morgan’s impressive early work," 9 Sep. 2019 Antigone’’ is not, and Page’s effortful struggles appeared to throw Vital off her game. Don Aucoin, BostonGlobe.com, "Lines get crossed in Flat Earth’s muddled ‘Antigone’," 28 Mar. 2018 But those who take pleasure in the effortful attention required by some puzzles and games to keep up and not get lost will find this book a rewarding challenge. Kathleen Rooney, New York Times, "Three Literary Critics Who Engage With Their Subjects, Unconventionally," 27 Apr. 2018 While “The Grand Inquisitor’’ was a solo piece, “Antigone’’ is not, and Page’s effortful struggles appeared to throw Vital off her game. Don Aucoin, BostonGlobe.com, "Lines get crossed in Flat Earth’s muddled ‘Antigone’," 28 Mar. 2018 Setting Robards aside, which isn’t easy, Hanks’ turn is valiant but effortful and is the film’s one casting misstep. Michael Phillips, Detroit Free Press, "Review: ‘The Post’ is both inspired and hokey," 11 Jan. 2018 But to the director Emma Miller’s credit, that bout is a long, real-time slog up and down the piste, effortful and tough, and a little ugly. Alexis Soloski, New York Times, "Review: In ‘Athena,’ Two Teenage Fencers Parry Ordinary Life," 19 Feb. 2018 Happily obsessive over the tiniest detail, his great talent is making even the most effortful creations look effortless. Nicole Phelps, Vogue, "Narciso Rodriguez at 20—The Designer Reminisces with a Capsule Collection that Recreates His Hits," 1 Feb. 2018 This requires attention, takes time, and is effortful. Matthieu Ricard, The Atlantic, "Neuroscience Has a Lot To Learn from Buddhism," 17 Dec. 2017

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.

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First Known Use of effortful

circa 1895, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for effortful

Last Updated

11 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for effortful

The first known use of effortful was circa 1895

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for effortful

Nglish: Translation of effortful for Spanish Speakers

Comments on effortful

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


to make a temporary encampment

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