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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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for endeavouring
Historical Examples
  • I am employed in endeavouring to make you happy; which, I promise you, will add much to my own.

    Dangerous Connections, v. 1, 2, 3, 4 Pierre Choderlos de Laclos
  • But if not, there is work to be done in endeavouring to ascertain what lies behind it.

    The Science of Fairy Tales Edwin Sidney Hartland
  • It had seized the shaft of the harpoon, which had broken in two, and was endeavouring to bite through the rope.

    Adventures in Africa W.H.G. Kingston
  • And this she had done when he was endeavouring to perform to her that which had been described to him as a duty!

    Cousin Henry Anthony Trollope
  • On their arrival they found twenty-three Frenchmen there, who were endeavouring to form a settlement.

  • His devotion now no longer amused her, and she was endeavouring to get rid of it and of him.

    Robert Elsmere Mrs. Humphry Ward
  • He was now endeavouring to make his way back to England, intending to return thence to America without loss of time.

    Fibble, D. D. Irvin Shrewsbury Cobb
  • You have expressed a dread which I have been endeavouring to stifle.

    Robert Orange John Oliver Hobbes
  • They now surround Him in numbers innumerable, which language strains its power in endeavouring to reckon.

  • It was this reliance that I was endeavouring to inculcate in every day's work in the Chapel.

    Child and Country Will Levington Comfort
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.


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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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