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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 endeavours
Historical Examples
  • When you see them, you will observe how he endeavours to hold me to this correspondence.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • But tell me why you think my endeavours to make you believe as I did never did you injury?

    Life in London Edwin Hodder
  • She endeavours to account for the inflexibility of her parents and uncles.

    Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • Our endeavours succeeded, but the success was long in coming.

    Freeland Theodor Hertzka
  • You must have perceived my endeavours to speak you, from the moment you sailed?

    Homeward Bound James Fenimore Cooper
  • But in spite of their endeavours, they failed to make both ends meet.

    His Masterpiece Emile Zola
  • The young fellow had not altogether rewarded his father's endeavours.

    The Manxman Hall Caine
  • I was pleased with her manner, which was full of resignation and trust in my endeavours.

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete Jacques Casanova de Seingalt
  • He persisted in his endeavours, and I determined to play on him a trick.

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete Jacques Casanova de Seingalt
  • The world of his endeavours and his hopes seemed dead, seemed gone.

    The Rescue Joseph Conrad
Word Origin and History for endeavours



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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