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[en-dev-er] /ɛnˈdɛv ər/
verb (used without object)
to exert oneself to do or effect something; make an effort; strive:
We must constantly endeavor if we are to succeed.
verb (used with object)
to attempt; try:
He endeavors to keep things neat in his apartment.
Archaic. to attempt to achieve or gain.
a strenuous effort; attempt.
Also, especially British, endeavour.
Origin of endeavor
1350-1400; Middle English endeveren, from the phrase putten in devoir to make an effort, assume responsibility; compare Anglo-French se mettre en deveir. See en-1, devoir
Related forms
endeavorer; especially British, endeavourer, noun
preendeavor, noun
1, 2. See try. 4. See effort. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for endeavored
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • My field of labor was my own heart, which I endeavored to render pure in the sight of God.

    Biography of a Slave Charles Thompson
  • He then endeavored to effect an escape, by flight, 277 and the Indians followed after him.

    Chronicles of Border Warfare Alexander Scott Withers
  • Henriette endeavored to comfort them, but it was in a voice that quavered strangely.

    The Downfall Emile Zola
  • He endeavored to move away, but made some noise and the man heard him.

    Louisiana Lou William West Winter
  • I endeavored to ascertain who was in the room and what was going on there.

  • Every man took his place, and endeavored to single out his victim.

    King Philip

    John S. C. (John Stevens Cabot) Abbott
  • Ranging alongside, he endeavored to reopen the conversation, but to no purpose.

    The Depot Master Joseph C. Lincoln
  • At first Captain Dan endeavored to pay strict attention to the address.

    Cap'n Dan's Daughter Joseph C. Lincoln
Word Origin and History for endeavored



c.1400; see endeavor (n.). Related: Endeavored; endeavoring.



early 15c., "pains taken to attain an object," literally "in duty," from phrase put (oneself) in dever "make it one's duty" (a partial translation of Old French mettre en deveir "put in duty"), from Old French dever "duty," from Latin debere "to owe" (see debt). One's endeavors meaning one's "utmost effort" is from late 15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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