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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.
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 endeavors
  • Most of these endeavors begin in the spring, making an already busy time of year even more hectic.
  • Appropriate scholarship and service endeavors are expected.
  • Government is, however, an excellent incubator for risky technology and endeavors that private industry shies away from.
  • The same holds true for other professional endeavors inclusive of law, the military, and politics.
  • Much success to you with your present and future endeavors.
  • Books are creative endeavors as individual and singular as any work of art.
  • No more money needs to be spent on useless endeavors.
  • Most define the notion as advancing human endeavors without diminishing prospects for future generations.
  • Our understanding of the universe continues to increase through our scientific endeavors.
  • He has a lifetime of philanthropic endeavors and was dedicated to many causes.
Word Origin and History for endeavors



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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