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

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

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 Kim Jong Un has endeavored to show that North Korea is becoming a modern country through showcase projects concentrated in the capital, including high-rise apartment towers, amusement parks and sushi restaurants. Anna Fifield, BostonGlobe.com, "For Kim Jong Un, meeting Trump is about cementing power at home," 10 June 2018 Kim Jong Un has endeavored to show that North Korea is becoming a modern country through showcase projects concentrated in the capital, including high-rise apartment towers, amusement parks and sushi restaurants. Anna Fifield, Washington Post, "For Kim Jong Un, meeting Trump is about cementing power at home," 9 June 2018 On Trump, Moon has really endeavored to make sure that Trump's role in landing at this diplomatic moment is important. Chris Cillizza, CNN, "What's at stake in Trump's North Korea summit is bigger than we think," 11 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Everyone, other than my mother, had given up on my academic endeavors. Vincent Kituku, idahostatesman, "Investing in the lives of poor children changes the present and the future," 28 June 2018 Starting small Like their efforts in Louisville, the original Anchal Project in India began as a small endeavor that sold notebooks and note cards. Kirby Adams, The Courier-Journal, "These one-of-a-kind textiles are empowering Louisville women," 13 July 2018 These endeavors were recognized, published, broadcast, and telecast nationally. Sun-Sentinel.com, "Deaths in South Florida: 7/13," 13 July 2018 His white whale is Enigma, a years-long restaurant endeavor in which Albert seeks to create an immersive piece of dining theater, requiring sacrifice and stress. Katie Walsh, latimes.com, "Review: Documentary 'Constructing Albert' follows a chef's quest for perfection," 12 July 2018 Racing in the Diamond in the Rough Triathlon in Perryville Saturday must have seemed a leisurely endeavor for Renee Gray of Bel Air. Bill Blewett, The Aegis, "Harford triathletes fare well at Diamond in the Rough," 12 July 2018 Univision used the acquisitions to launch Fusion Media Group, a multiplatform endeavor aimed at attracting the elusive U.S. millennial audience. Rene Rodriguez, miamiherald, "Univision wants to sell The Onion and Gizmodo Media Group websites," 10 July 2018 Manafort brought on as his business partner in these endeavors Konstantin Kilimnik, a former member of Russia’s foreign military-intelligence agency who — according to an indictment by Mueller — still has ties to Russian intelligence. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Will Trump Be Meeting With His Counterpart — Or His Handler?," 8 July 2018 These jobs, all of which involve special operations forces, have become critical to U.S. combat endeavors around the world since 9/11. Sig Christenson, San Antonio Express-News, "AF recruiting squadron to seek — and keep — toughest airmen," 30 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

15 Oct 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

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

exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

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!