en·​deav·​or | \ in-ˈde-vər How to pronounce endeavor (audio) \
endeavored; endeavoring\ in-​ˈde-​v(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce endeavor (audio) \

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



Definition of endeavor (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : serious determined effort
2 : activity directed toward a goal : enterprise fields of endeavor

Synonyms for endeavor

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

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Choose the Right Synonym for endeavor


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 This is the type of thing that a functional modern society should endeavor to provide to its members, regardless of individual ability to pay. Amanda Mull, The Atlantic, 27 Apr. 2022 The work completed on the F-35 will help keep the United States in the lead as warfighters endeavor to bring other platforms—friendly aircraft, networked UAVs, attritable drones and other warfighting networks—together. Craig Hooper, Forbes, 17 Mar. 2022 The documents are part of the back-and-forth that occurs over many months as corporations endeavor to convince the government not to file charges. San Diego Union-Tribune, 19 Feb. 2022 On one side, participants endeavor to dismantle a city and kill the occupants. Craig Hooper, Forbes, 13 Mar. 2022 In line with this, the United States can endeavor to find ways to creatively bolster its support for Russian civil society and fund Russian opposition movements. Mick Mulroy, ABC News, 26 Feb. 2022 In 2022, partly thanks to No Way Home, studios will endeavor to return to it. David Sims, The Atlantic, 4 Jan. 2022 The Hansons training plans endeavor to keep you from falling victim to the less-than-satisfying results that such a haphazard approach to training can produce. Keith And Kevin Hanson, Outside Online, 21 Feb. 2019 Glossier is far from the first DTC brand to endeavor into London in its early stages of retail expansion. Brin Snelling, Forbes, 10 Dec. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In 2018, the library began to ask the public for help, launching Letters to Lincoln, a massive crowdsourcing endeavor. Maris Kreizman, Smithsonian Magazine, 19 May 2022 ConocoPhillips has not made a final decision to build the project, potentially a $6 billion endeavor. Alex Demarban, Anchorage Daily News, 18 May 2022 In addition to the street’s more than 150,000 lights -- including the McVickers’ nearly 20,000 lights -- the endeavor acts as a fundraising effort. John Benson, cleveland, 18 May 2022 Also, the legacy of human error that can, occasionally, make the entire endeavor a crapshoot. John Anderson, WSJ, 17 May 2022 While technical know-how is important, a successful business endeavor requires more than having the skills to build a product. Jake Hare, Forbes, 13 May 2022 Every Day podcast back in February, Ainuu — a North Face athlete — said that the history-making endeavor was organized as an attempt to increase representation in the climbing arena. Mary Ellen Cagnassola, PEOPLE.com, 13 May 2022 Mowing the lawn can often be a sweaty and tedious chore, but at only 60 pounds, and with its self-propelling feature, the Greenworks Pro 60V cordless electric mower makes trimming the grass a practically effortless endeavor. Better Homes & Gardens, 4 May 2022 With investment benefits, tax breaks and a new web of highways, Brazil persuaded local and foreign investors alike to bet on the seemingly paradoxical endeavor of cattle ranching in the rainforest. Washington Post, 29 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of endeavor


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


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for endeavor

Verb and Noun

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

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Time Traveler for endeavor

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near endeavor

endear to


Endeavor River pear

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Statistics for endeavor

Last Updated

22 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Endeavor.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/endeavor. Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for endeavor


en·​deav·​or | \ in-ˈde-vər How to pronounce endeavor (audio) \
endeavored; endeavoring

Kids Definition of endeavor

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to make an effort : try hard



Kids Definition of endeavor (Entry 2 of 2)

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

More from Merriam-Webster on endeavor

Nglish: Translation of endeavor for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of endeavor for Arabic Speakers


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