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in philosophical use from 1836, from Latin conationem (nominative conatio) "an endeavoring, effort," noun of action from past participle stem of conari "to endeavor, to try," from PIE *kona-, from root *ken- "to set oneself in motion."
conation co·na·tion (kō-nā'shən)
The aspect of mental processes or behavior directed toward action or change and including impulse, desire, volition, and striving.