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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 endeavours
  • We wish you well in your future work-search endeavours.
  • The horrifying spectacle will not end the planet's nuclear endeavours.
  • In fact he excelled in artistic, aesthetic and sporting endeavours.
  • The chancellor's endeavours have not been all in vain.
  • The country's military endeavours are marked by memorials of panoramic extravagance.
  • It might also serve as a useful reminder to the dam-builders that fate can play tricks on the best-planned of endeavours.
  • Both endeavours involve the creative process which operates in a similar manner even if they work towards different ends.
  • But the same freezing process that preserves the bodies of many extinct mammals would also be the undoing of cloning endeavours.
  • These are high risk endeavours indeed and without a solid functioning base, its all for naught.
Word Origin and History for endeavours



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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