Date: 1400-1500
Language: Old French
Origin: esfort, from esforcier 'to force'


ef‧fort S1 W1

physical/mental energy

[uncountable] the physical or mental energy that is needed to do something:
Lou lifted the box easily, without using much effort.
make the effort (to do something)
He made the effort to say something pleasant.
it takes effort (to do something)
It takes a lot of time and effort to get an exhibition ready.
An automatic car takes all the effort out of driving (=it makes driving very easy).
Frank put a lot of effort into the party.
Visit the cathedral when you're there. It's well worth the effort (=it is definitely worth doing).


[uncountable and countable] an attempt to do something, especially when this involves a lot of hard work or determination
make an effort (to do something)
I know you don't like her, but please make an effort to be polite.
Jack has made a concerted effort (=tried hard over a long time) to improve his behaviour.
We make every effort to satisfy clients' wishes.
They made no effort to include us in the negotiations.
somebody's effort(s) to do something
Tom's determined efforts to stop smoking haven't been very successful.
Church leaders are prepared to meet the terrorists in an effort to (=in order to try to) find peace.
effort at
Further efforts at negotiation have broken down.
through somebody's efforts (=because of their efforts)
The money was raised largely through the efforts of parents.
The meal was a joint effort (=it was done by two people together).
despite somebody's efforts
Despite all our efforts we lost the game 1-0.
With a supreme effort of will Isabel forced back the tears.

be an effort

to be difficult or painful to do:
I was so weak that even standing up was an effort.

particular situation

[countable] work that people do to achieve something in a particular situation:
the fundraising effort
the international relief effort
Everyone did what they could to support the war effort.

good/bad/poor etc effort

something that has been done well, badly etc:
Not a bad effort for a beginner!

Dictionary results for "effort"
Dictionary pictures of the day
Do you know what each of these is called?
What is the word for picture 1? What is the word for picture 2? What is the word for picture 3? What is the word for picture 4?
Click on any of the pictures above to find out what it is called.