American English

Definition of effort noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[uncountable, countable] the physical or mental energy that you need to do something; something that takes a lot of energy You should put more effort into your work. A lot of effort has gone into making this event a success. The company has invested a great deal of time and effort in setting up new training programs. It's a long climb to the top, but well worth the effort. Getting up this morning was quite an effort (= it was difficult). With some effort (= with difficulty) she managed to stop herself from laughing.
  2. 2[countable] an attempt to do something, especially when it is difficult to do a determined/real/special effort to make an effort I didn't really feel like going out, but I am glad Imade the effort. effort (to do something) The company has laid off 150 workers in an effort to save money. The sports clubs are making every effort to interest more young people. We need to make a concerted effort to finish on time. I spent hours cleaning the house, but there isn't much to show for all my efforts. With an effort of will, he resisted the temptation. The project was a joint/group effort.
  3. 3[countable] (usually after a noun) a particular activity that a group of people organize in order to achieve something the Russian space effort the United Nations' peacekeeping effort
  4. 4[countable] the result of an attempt to do something I think this essay is a poor effort.
  5. Idioms
    bend your mind/efforts to something (formal)
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    to think very hard about or put a lot of effort into one particular thing
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: effort