endeavor

verb
en·​deav·​or | \in-ˈde-vər \
endeavored; endeavoring\in-​ˈde-​v(ə-​)riŋ \

Definition of endeavor 

(Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to attempt (something, such as the fulfillment of an obligation) by exertion of effort endeavors to finish the race

2 archaic : to strive to achieve or reach

intransitive verb

: to work with set purpose

endeavor

noun

Definition of endeavor (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : serious determined effort

2 : activity directed toward a goal : enterprise fields of endeavor

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for endeavor

Synonyms: Verb

bang away, beaver (away), dig (away), drudge, fag, grub, hump, hustle, labor, moil, peg (away), plod, plow, plug, slave, slog, strain, strive, struggle, sweat, toil, travail, tug, work

Synonyms: Noun

assay [archaic], attempt, bash [chiefly British], bid, crack, essay, fling, go, offer, pass, shot, stab, trial, try, whack, whirl

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Choose the Right Synonym for endeavor

Verb

attempt, try, endeavor, essay, strive mean to make an effort to accomplish an end. attempt stresses the initiation or beginning of an effort. will attempt to photograph the rare bird try is often close to attempt but may stress effort or experiment made in the hope of testing or proving something. tried to determine which was the better procedure endeavor heightens the implications of exertion and difficulty. endeavored to find crash survivors in the mountains essay implies difficulty but also suggests tentative trying or experimenting. will essay a dramatic role for the first time strive implies great exertion against great difficulty and specifically suggests persistent effort. continues to strive for peace

Examples of endeavor in a Sentence

Verb

As urbanization advanced, it swept away the distinctive physical and social characteristics of the culture of the past, substituting undifferentiated built environments and standardized patterns of dress and behavior. Hand-camera users endeavored to reaffirm individuality and arrest time in the face of the encroaching depersonalization of existence. — Naomi Rosenblum, A World History of Photography, 1989 At some time in their careers, most good historians itch to write a history of the world, endeavor to discover what makes humanity the most destructive and creative of species. — Paul Johnson, New York Times Book Review, 7 Apr. 1985 The school endeavors to teach students to be good citizens. They endeavored to create a government that truly serves its people.

Noun

Sgt. Pepper was our grandest endeavor. — Ringo Starr, in The Beatles Anthology, 2000 Science has traditionally accepted the smartest students, the most committed and self-sacrificing researchers, and the cleanest money—that is, money with the fewest political strings attached. In both theory and practice, science in this century has been perceived as a noble endeavor. Science, 13 Feb. 1998 The miraculous thing I have to report, a secret so precious I hesitate to share it, is how docilely and utterly the critic in one goes to sleep when a creative endeavor is afoot. — John Updike, New York Times Book Review, 21 June 1987 His endeavors have gone unrewarded. She is involved in several artistic endeavors. Technology is the fastest-changing area of human endeavor.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

One artist endeavored to recreate fatbergs representing different neighborhoods in London with the nuanced fatberg aromas. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "London museum is livestreaming a key 21st-century artifact—festering sewage," 18 Aug. 2018 Fortunately, endeavoring engineers are busy exploring this area of development and one, who goes by Human Controller, has found the pinnacle of autonomous engineering: a Rubik's cube that solves itself. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "The Peak of Human Ingenuity Is a Rubik's Cube That Solves Itself," 25 Sep. 2018 Most adorably: Pet-wear—a first-ever endeavor in these link-ups—and another capsule-within-a-collection, with Disney. Nick Remsen, Vogue, "Moschino and H&M Have A Few More Surprises In Store For Their November Drop. For One? Pet-Wear!," 9 Sep. 2018 The Trump administration is hardly the first to have vigorous policy disagreements, but in past administrations, those debates largely played out in private, with the staff endeavoring to support the official White House policy in public. chicagotribune.com, "Confusion, squabbling undermine Trump's steps forward on the world stage," 20 May 2018 The Crossover’s Front Office endeavored to identify those qualities in this year’s draft class when compiling its 2018 draft superlatives. Chris Johnson, SI.com, "2018 NBA Draft Superlatives: Biggest Sleeper, Safest Pick And More," 14 June 2018 The tour will endeavor not only to bring the conversation from Washington, D.C., to people around the country, but also to include others in that conversation. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "Parkland Activists Cameron Kasky and Daniel Duff Explain the March for Our Lives: Road to Change Tours," 5 June 2018 But his manager cautioned against levying Ruthian expectations on a player who has not yet endeavored a full big-league season. Ted Berg, USA TODAY, "An A's player you've barely heard of homered at a Ruthian pace last season," 12 Mar. 2018 Sony Pictures Entertainment endeavored to post a trailer for its limited-release film Khali the Killer on YouTube to encourage viewers to watch the movie on Blu-ray, on streaming platforms, and in select theaters. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "Sony tries to upload movie trailer to YouTube, posts entire movie instead," 3 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Releasing a thriller that has already premiered in another country to the kind of rapturous reviews that cause a minor cultural quake (and garners ratings to rival the World Cup) is an even trickier endeavor. Chloe Schama, Vogue, "Bodyguard Is the Best Political Thriller Since Homeland," 24 Oct. 2018 That means many Syrians who desperately need medical help will have to travel farther to find a doctor working in a standing facility — an especially dangerous endeavor in the middle of an active war zone. Alex Ward, Vox, "Turkey’s last-ditch effort to stop mass slaughter in Syria just failed," 7 Sep. 2018 The Russians’ success is a reminder that the ISS is, as its name suggests, an international endeavor. David Meyer, Fortune, "A Robotic Spacecraft Just Smashed the Record for Fastest Trip to the International Space Station," 10 July 2018 Historically, launching satellites into space has been an expensive endeavor that requires a lot of lead time, said Scott Wierzbanowski, from DARPA. Rebecca Santana, The Christian Science Monitor, "How to make space exploration less expensive? Reuse the rockets.," 3 July 2018 Like the country's other wireless carriers, AT&T is moving aggressively to build out a nationwide successor to its 4G LTE data network, an endeavor that is likely to cost billions of dollars. Brian Fung, latimes.com, "AT&T is raising an obscure fee to make an extra $970 million a year, analyst says," 29 June 2018 The problem is that politics is not an individualistic endeavor. Michael Wear, Time, "Don't Quit the Republican Party. Stay and Fight," 22 June 2018 For an insomniac, there is nothing more soothing than the promise that an endeavor will eventually work out. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "We the seagulls," 22 June 2018 His seventh inning was his most stressful, an 18-pitch endeavor that began unfortunately. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Astros sweep Athletics, extend winning streak to 8," 15 June 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of endeavor

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 2

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for endeavor

Verb

Middle English endeveren to exert oneself, from en- + dever duty — more at devoir

Noun

see endeavor entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about endeavor

Statistics for endeavor

Last Updated

10 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for endeavor

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for endeavor

endeavor

verb

English Language Learners Definition of endeavor

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to seriously or continually try to do (something)

endeavor

noun

English Language Learners Definition of endeavor (Entry 2 of 2)

: a serious effort or attempt

endeavor

verb
en·​deav·​or | \in-ˈde-vər \
endeavored; endeavoring

Kids Definition of endeavor

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to make an effort : try hard

endeavor

noun

Kids Definition of endeavor (Entry 2 of 2)

: a serious effort or attempt He is involved in several business endeavors.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on endeavor

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with endeavor

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for endeavor

Spanish Central: Translation of endeavor

Nglish: Translation of endeavor for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of endeavor for Arabic Speakers

Comments on endeavor

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

WORD OF THE DAY

amusing and light sparring with words

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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