/ef"euhrt/, n.1. exertion of physical or mental power: It will take great effort to achieve victory.2. an earnest or strenuous attempt: an effort to keep to the schedule.3. something done by exertion or hard work: I thought it would be easy, but it was an effort.4. an achievement, as in literature or art: The painting is one of his finest efforts.5. the amount of exertion expended for a specified purpose: the war effort.6. Chiefly Brit.a. an organized community drive or achievement.b. a fund-raising drive.7. Mech. the force or energy that is applied to a machine for the accomplishment of useful work.[1480-90; < MF; OF esfort, esforz, deriv. of esforcier to force (es- EX-1 + forcier to FORCE)]Syn. 1. struggle, striving. EFFORT, APPLICATION, ENDEAVOR, EXERTION imply actions directed or force expended toward a definite end. EFFORT is an expenditure of energy to accomplish some objective: He made an effort to control himself. APPLICATION is continuous effort plus careful attention: constant application to duties. ENDEAVOR means a continued and sustained series of efforts to achieve some, often worthy and difficult, end: a constant endeavor to be useful. EXERTION is the vigorous and often strenuous expenditure of energy, frequently without an end: out of breath from exertion.
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