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[koh-ney-tuh s]
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noun, plural co·na·tus.
  1. an effort or striving.
  2. a force or tendency simulating a human effort.
  3. (in the philosophy of Spinoza) the force in every animate creature toward the preservation of its existence.

Origin of conatus

1655–65; < Latin: exertion, equivalent to cōnā(rī) to attempt + -tus suffix of v. action
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for conatus

Historical Examples

  • Conatus est omne divortium inter regiam majestatem et reginam dissuadere.

    History of the Reformation in the Sixteenth Century, Volume V</p>

    J. H. Merle d'Aubigné

  • Strange that this great length of time should not have produced even one new organ, or the marks of a conatus to produce one.

British Dictionary definitions for conatus


noun plural -tus
  1. an effort or striving of natural impulse
  2. (esp in the philosophy of Spinoza) the tendency of all things to persist in their own being

Word Origin

C17: from Latin: effort, from cōnārī to try
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

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