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 Sometimes that effort involves the United States doing nothing more than passing information and allowing our friends and partners to take action. CBS News, "Biggest factor in U.S.-Middle East relations is perception that U.S. is withdrawing," 6 Jan. 2021 The local had been trying to unionize those workers, but that effort has ceased, now that the jobs are being eliminated. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, "Column: In wake of Prop. 22, Albertsons is converting its home delivery to gig work," 5 Jan. 2021 Tuberville would be at least the fourth senator to join that effort. Paul Gattis | Pgattis@al.com, al, "Tuberville joins Sen. Ted Cruz, will contest Arizona presidential election results," 5 Jan. 2021 As part of that effort, California has created a state oxygen team, and the Army Corps of Engineers has sent specialized crews to update oxygen-delivery systems at a handful of L.A. County’s aging hospitals. oregonlive, "L.A. hospitals ‘having to make very tough decisions about patient care’ as COVID-19 cases soar," 5 Jan. 2021 As part of that effort, California has created a state oxygen team, and the Army Corps of Engineers has sent specialized crews to update oxygen-delivery systems at a handful of LA County’s aging hospitals. Anchorage Daily News, "L.A. County ambulance operators told not to bring patients to hospital if survival chances are low," 5 Jan. 2021 While the final outcome of that effort is unclear, the NYSE decision underscores the fraught politics of the U.S.-China relationship as the Trump administration comes to a close. Drew Fitzgerald, WSJ, "NYSE to Delist China’s Major Telecom Operators," 1 Jan. 2021 The symbol of that effort in Argentina — green handkerchiefs — has begun showing up in other countries where women have poured into the streets demanding greater support for their rights. New York Times, "Argentina Legalizes Abortion, a Milestone in a Conservative Region," 30 Dec. 2020 That effort involves not just the agents on the ground, but also the bureau's behavioral analysis unit in Quantico, Virginia. Dakin Andone, CNN, "Here's how officials are likely to handle the investigation of the Nashville explosion," 26 Dec. 2020

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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Time Traveler for effort

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for effort

Last Updated

15 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Effort.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/effort. Accessed 23 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for effort


How to pronounce effort (audio)

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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Comments on effort

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