Denotation vs. Connotation


or (especially British) endeavour

[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.
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
Historical Examples
  • He smooths the path by which he is to proceed, and endeavours to root out all its thorns.

    Thoughts on Man William Godwin
  • When you see them, you will observe how he endeavours to hold me to this correspondence.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • Finally, Von Hartmann endeavours to establish the fact of a certain logical order in religious development, a progress.

  • Our endeavours succeeded, but the success was long in coming.

    Freeland Theodor Hertzka
  • In their endeavours to enrich themselves they forgot that they were only preparing the way for their ultimate destruction.

  • But in spite of their endeavours, they failed to make both ends meet.

    His Masterpiece Emile Zola
  • If vice at any time appears to us in an engaging dress, it is occasioned by overlooking the deformities it endeavours to hide.

  • The young fellow had not altogether rewarded his father's endeavours.

    The Manxman Hall Caine
  • It has constituted itself judge; condemns what is condemnable, resists violence, endeavours to enlighten the masses.

    Paris under the Commune John Leighton
  • I was pleased with her manner, which was full of resignation and trust in my endeavours.

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete Jacques Casanova de Seingalt
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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