Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The use of physical or mental energy to do something; exertion.
  • n. A difficult exertion of the strength or will: It was an effort to get up.
  • n. A usually earnest attempt: Make an effort to arrive promptly.
  • n. Something done or produced through exertion; an achievement: a play that was his finest effort.
  • n. Physics Force applied against inertia.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The work involved in performing an activity; exertion.
  • n. An endeavour.
  • v. To make an effort.
  • v. To stimulate.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An exertion of strength or power, whether physical or mental, in performing an act or aiming at an object; more or less strenuous endeavor; struggle directed to the accomplishment of an object.
  • n. A force acting on a body in the direction of its motion.
  • transitive v. To stimulate.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To strengthen; reinforce.
  • n. Voluntary exertion; a putting forth of the will, consciously directed toward the performance of any action, external or internal, and usually prepared by a psychological act of “gathering the strength” or coördination of the powers.
  • n. The result of exertion; something done by voluntary exertion; specifically, a literary, oratorical, or artistic work.
  • n. In mech., a force upon a body due to a definite cause.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. earnest and conscientious activity intended to do or accomplish something
  • n. use of physical or mental energy; hard work
  • n. a notable achievement
  • n. a series of actions advancing a principle or tending toward a particular end

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French esfort, from esforcier, to force, exert, from Medieval Latin exfortiāre : Latin ex-, ex- + Latin fortis, strong; see bhergh-2 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle French effort, from Old French esfort, deverbal noun from esforcier ("to force, exert"), from Vulgar Latin *exfortiare, from Latin ex + fortis ("strong") (Wiktionary)

Examples

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.