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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 endeavors
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He endeavors to shield himself like the servant with the talent, by charging injustice and oppression on his master.

    Usury Calvin Elliott
  • We endeavors to argue him out of the notion but it seems like he's sort of set in his mind.

    Sundry Accounts Irvin S. Cobb
  • At broad daylight he was in a big factory which his own endeavors had built up.

    Bound to Succeed Allen Chapman
  • See what are some of its objects of influence and endeavors.

  • And in these endeavors he had gathered many odds and ends of information over which he chuckled with joy.

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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