Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

effort

 - definition
 
 
 
Close

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Close

Thesaurus

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary entries. Click on the T button in an entry to review the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

more
noun effort pronunciation in American English /ˈefərt/ 
Word Forms
Close
singulareffort
pluralefforts
 

Related dictionary definitions

  1. 1
    [countable/uncountable] an attempt to do something that is difficult or that involves hard work
    an effort to do something:

    The restructuring was part of an effort to boost company profits.

    in an effort to do something:

    Detectives are talking to other witnesses in an effort to corroborate her confession.

    make an effort to do something:

    I've made an effort to drink less tea and coffee.

    make little/no effort:

    The drivers made no efforts to check their vehicles.

    an effort of will/imagination/memory:

    She was trembling violently, but with a determined effort of will she stopped.

    despite someone's efforts:

    The man died despite the doctors' efforts to revive him.

    a concerted/joint effort (=made together):

    a concerted effort by the nations of the world to protect our environment

  2. 2
    [singular/uncountable] physical or mental energy needed to do something

    The aim is to obtain maximum reward for minimum effort.

    physical/mental effort:

    The sheer physical effort of shopping is a burden to most of us.

    take/require effort:

    Writing a book requires a lot of time and effort.

    put effort into something:

    Mary put a lot of effort into this project.

    with an effort:

    Nathan controlled his temper with an effort.

  3. 4
    [countable] informal something that someone produces or creates, often something of poor quality

    His first effort in 1991 was a collection of short stories.

    As smiles went it was a poor effort.

phrases

 

protologism

a new word or phrase invented in the hope that it will become generally used

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

garbage patch

a collection of debris, mostly consisting of plastic, which moves around in the sea …

add a word

Blog

A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog