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, 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 for endeavor

1, 2. See try. 4. See effort.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for endeavours

Historical Examples of endeavours

  • 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.


    Theodor Hertzka

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

    Homeward Bound

    James Fenimore Cooper

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