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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. 2015.
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Examples from the web for endeavor
  • Each endeavor begins with a fresh concept and a desire to achieve something new.
  • My fondest memory is any collaborative creative endeavor.
  • At first glance, this seems like a slightly absurd endeavor.
  • From these I shall endeavor to derive all the advantages which they may afford.
  • This seems like an especially worthwhile endeavor.
  • The endeavor surprised music lovers and raised thousands of dollars.
  • It's an endeavor that raises the opportunity to treat disease early but also raises the fear of genetic discrimination.
  • This is a fundamental law of any organized endeavor.
  • Science is supposed to be the endeavor that asks questions primarily.
  • Look for additional information on this new endeavor in the coming months.
British Dictionary definitions for endeavor


to try (to do something)
an effort to do or attain something
Derived Forms
endeavourer, (US) endeavorer, noun
Word Origin
C14: endeveren, from en-1 + -deveren from dever duty, from Old French deveir; see devoirs
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for endeavor

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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