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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 endeavouring
Historical Examples
  • And he answered, "I remember it well; but I am not aware that any are endeavouring to entice me."

    Life in London Edwin Hodder
  • Because it seemed to me that we were all of us, all day long, endeavouring to stifle the voice.

    The Uncommercial Traveller Charles Dickens
  • Do not you, who blame my friends for endeavouring to compel me, yourself seek to compel.

    Clarissa, Volume 3 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • These men I spoke of are trying to discover what other men are endeavouring to conceal.

  • They chatted about the weather, endeavouring to force on a commonplace conversation.

    Therese Raquin Emile Zola
  • But in endeavouring to trace the nature of the connexion we are baffled and disappointed.

    Theaetetus Plato
  • Listening intently, he heard the sound of sobbing which she was endeavouring to stifle.

    Murder Point

    Coningsby Dawson
  • I am endeavouring to show how our fifty-year-old choristers are to be trained, and what they are to avoid.

    Laws Plato
  • That, madame, as I am endeavouring to convey to you, is what I most desire.

    Scaramouche Rafael Sabatini
  • As for those capers, I am endeavouring to show you that you yourself have driven him to them.

    The Tavern Knight Rafael Sabatini
Word Origin and History for endeavouring



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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