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

The Dash pulled a goal back in the fourth minute of stoppage time through an effort from captain Kealia Ohai, but her strike proved to be virtually the final touch of the match as referee Natalie Simon blew her whistle after the ensuing kickoff. Staff Reports, Houston Chronicle, "Lloyd’s two goals lift Sky Blue FC over Dash," 25 Aug. 2019 Despite efforts from global activists, NGOs and, more recently, celebrities such as Ariana Grande and Demi Lovato to raise awareness, global media coverage of this environmental disaster has been gravely deficient. Rose Stokes, refinery29.com, "Environmental Horror & Political Scandal: What You Need To Know About The Amazon Rainforest Fires," 24 Aug. 2019 Alterman and Heather Conley, the Europe expert at CSIS, both said Macron appeared to be trying to fill the void left by Trump on the world stage, noting the French leader’s recent efforts to try to reduce tensions between the U.S. and Iran. Washington Post, "Trump faces limits of go-it-alone stance at global summit," 24 Aug. 2019 This week, Fortune published a detailed report about Apple's e-waste efforts and how its hardware recycling system Daisy works. Don Reisinger, Fortune, "Apple’s Quiet Summer Will Soon Give Way to New iPhones, Macs, and More," 24 Aug. 2019 That's not taking anything away from Vincent Kompany's long-range effort against Leicester City either, as that could have easily been voted as the Goal of the Season in the Premier League. SI.com, "7 Wonder Goals That Were Somehow Left Out of FIFA's Puskás Shortlist," 24 Aug. 2019 While the program will continue to be available at all schools wishing to offer this after-school program, efforts have been made to seek out non-traditional locations such as community centers, parks and churches. Shirley Macfarland, cleveland.com, "Girls on the Run is expanding its program area: Talk of the Towns," 24 Aug. 2019 On a voice vote, the committee approved a resolution asking Alabama’s congressional delegation to initiate an effort to remove U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Democrat from Minnesota, from her seat. Mike Cason | Mcason@al.com, al, "Alabama GOP opposes replacing elected state Board of Education," 24 Aug. 2019 But a recent report by Boston Consulting Group and two other groups that advocate for sustainability found that the industry’s efforts are not helping enough to offset its growth. Marc Bain, Quartzy, "There’s reason to be skeptical of fashion’s new landmark environmental pact," 24 Aug. 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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Learn More about effort

Statistics for effort

Last Updated

27 Aug 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

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


formidable, illustrious, or eminent

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