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endeavor

[en-dev-er]
verb (used without object)
  1. to exert oneself to do or effect something; make an effort; strive: We must constantly endeavor if we are to succeed.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to attempt; try: He endeavors to keep things neat in his apartment.
  2. Archaic. to attempt to achieve or gain.
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noun
  1. a strenuous effort; attempt.
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Also especially British, en·deav·our.

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 formsen·deav·or·er; especially British, en·deav·our·er, nounpre·en·deav·or, noun

Synonyms

1, 2. See try. 4. See effort.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for endeavoured

Historical Examples

  • Milza endeavoured, in her own artless way, to soothe the distress her words had excited.

    Philothea

    Lydia Maria Child

  • I endeavoured to obtain sight of him, but he was so wrapped and clothed that I did not succeed.

  • I could not think of him without shuddering, and I endeavoured to forget him.

  • He endeavoured to put him at ease by changing the conversation.

  • How often, my dear, have you and I endeavoured to detect and censure this partial spirit in others?

    Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson


Word Origin and History for endeavoured

endeavor

v.

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

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endeavor

n.

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper