endeavor

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English[edit]

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Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

The verb is from Middle English endeveren (to make an effort); the noun is from Middle English endevour, from the verb. Endeveren is from (putten) in dever ((to put oneself) in duty), from in + dever (duty), partially translating Middle French (se mettre) en devoir (de faire) ((to make it) one's duty (to do), to endeavour (to do)) (from Old French devoir, deveir (duty)).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

endeavor (plural endeavors)

  1. A sincere attempt; a determined or assiduous effort towards a specific goal.
    • 1640, Thomas Hobbes, The Elements of Law, part II, chapter 28:
      And these three: 1. the law over them that have sovereign power; 2. their duty; 3. their profit: are one and the same thing contained in this sentence, Salus populi suprema lex; by which must be understood, not the mere preservation of their lives, but generally their benefit and good. So that this is the general law for sovereigns: that they procure, to the uttermost of their endeavour, the good of the people.
    • 1873, J C Maxwell, A Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism, volume 2, page 184:
      As we shall find it necessary, in our endeavours to bring electrical phenomena within the province of dynamics, to have our dynamical ideas in a state fit for direct application to physical questions we shall devote this chapter to an exposition of these dynamical ideas from a physical point of view.
  2. Enterprise; assiduous or persistent activity.
    • 1748, David Hume, Enquiries concerning the human understanding and concerning the principles of moral (London: Oxford University Press, 1973), § 9:
      The like has been the endeavour of critics, logicians, and even politicians [] .

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Verb[edit]

endeavor (third-person singular simple present endeavors, present participle endeavoring, simple past and past participle endeavored)

  1. (obsolete) To exert oneself. [15th-17th c.]
    • Alexander Pope:
      And such were praised who but endeavoured well.
  2. (intransitive) To attempt through application of effort (to do something); to try strenuously. [from 16th c.]
    • 1748, David Hume, Enquiries concerning the human understanding and concerning the principles of moral (London: Oxford University Press, 1973), § 2:
      The other species of philosophers consider man in the light of a reasonable rather than an active being, and endeavour to form his understanding more than cultivate his manners.
  3. (obsolete, transitive) To attempt (something). [16th-17th c.]
    • Ld. Chatham:
      It is our duty to endeavour the recovery of these beneficial subjects.
    • 1669 May 18, Sir Isaac Newton, Letter (to Francis Aston):
      If you be affronted, it is better, in a foreign country, to pass it by in silence, and with a jest, though with some dishonour, than to endeavour revenge; for, in the first case, your credit's ne'er the worse when you return into England, or come into other company that have not heard of the quarrel.
  4. To work with purpose.
    • 2012 March-April, John T. Jost, “Social Justice: Is It in Our Nature (and Our Future)?”, American Scientist, volume 100, number 2, page 162: 
      He draws eclectically on studies of baboons, descriptive anthropological accounts of hunter-gatherer societies and, in a few cases, the fossil record. With this biological framework in place, Corning endeavors to show that the capitalist system as currently practiced in the United States and elsewhere is manifestly unfair.

Synonyms[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

et:endeavor

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