The Meaning of Endeavors: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of endeavors? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word endeavors, including its definition, etymology, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word endeavors mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language as well as sources like Collins English Dictionary and American Heritage, endeavors can either be the plural form of the noun endeavor or it can be the present tense of the verb endeavor. As opposed to American English, in British English in the UK, endeavor is spelled endeavour, endeavours, endeavoured, and endeavouring. An endeavor can refer to a conscientious activity, manipulation of power, fulfillment of an obligation, strenuous effort, specific behavior, energetic attempt, effortful attempt, supreme effort, industrious effort, brief attempt, sincere attempt toward a specific goal, assiduous effort, persistent activity, application of effort, fulfillment of a responsibility, or expenditure of effort. The word endeavors has three syllables – en-deav-ors, and the pronunciations of endeavor is  in-ˈdev-ər.

Many different languages also contain words that mean endeavors. You may notice that some of these words look similar to one another. These cognates are often formed when two words or languages have the same root word or language of origin. This list of translations of endeavors is provided by Word Sense

  •  Hindi: प्रयत्न‎ (masc.)
  •  Italian: tentativo‎ (masc.), impegno‎, sforzo‎ (masc.)
  •  Swedish: sträva‎
  •  Bulgarian: усилие‎ (neut.), старание‎ (neut.)
  •  Catalan: esforç‎ (masc.)
  •  German: Bemühung‎ (fem.)
  •  Hungarian: igyekezet‎
  •  Polish: dążenie‎ (neut.), próba‎ (fem.), usiłowanie‎ (neut.)
  •  Japanese: 努力‎ (どりょく, doryoku)
  •  Mandarin: 努力‎ (nǔlì), 使命‎ (shiming)
  •  Spanish: tentativa‎ (fem.), esfuerzo‎ (masc.), empeño‎ (masc.)
  •  Finnish: yritys‎, ponnistus‎, pyrkimys‎
  •  Armenian: ճիգ‎, ջանք‎
  •  Hebrew: ניסיון، מאמץ، להשתדל‎
  •  Greek: προσπάθεια‎ (fem.)
  •  Russian: попы́тка‎ (fem.), стара́ние‎ (neut.), уси́лие‎ (neut.), стремле́ние‎ (neut.)
  •  Persian: کوشش‎ (kušeš)
  •  Romanian: tentativă‎ (fem.)
  •  French: effort‎ (masc.)
  •  Portuguese: tentativa‎ (fem.)
  •  Scottish Gaelic: iomairt‎ (fem.)
  •  Khmer: ការខំប្រឹងខ្នះខ្នែង‎ (kaa kʰɑm prəng knah knaeng)
  •  Czech: úsilí‎ (neut.), snaha‎ (fem.)
  •  Dutch: inspanning‎, ijveren‎ (neut.), poging‎

How can the word endeavors be used in a sentence?

The word endeavors can be used in many ways in the English language. Below are several examples of endeavor. Try using this word in a sentence to flex your grammar muscles!

It took great human endeavor to achieve liberation and equal rights for the good citizens. Despite the takeover attempt and moments of forlorn hope, the political endeavors after the initial attempt were able to bring freedom and justice to the people.

The Princeton University student carefully planned her future endeavors. For her school endeavors, she planned to read all of the reading material for each class ahead of time and complete any piece of work she could. 

Despite his best endeavours, the act of testing was not one of his usual areas of competence. He got very nervous during tests and got the poorest achievement in the class. It took a period of time for him to get confident testing.

The Christians’ main aim of such endeavors was unity. They planned many events to try and bring the community together.

What are synonyms and antonyms for endeavors?

There are many different words that a person can use in place of the word endeavor in both the noun and verb forms. These are called synonyms, which are words and phrases that have the same definition as another word or phrase. Synonyms are useful to know if you are trying to avoid repeating yourself as well as if you are looking to expand your vocabulary. This list of synonyms for the word endeavor is provided by Thesaurus.

Endeavor (n.) – an attempt to achieve something

  •  fling
  •  try-on
  •  work
  •  go
  •  best shot
  •  enterprise
  •  crash project
  •  travail
  •  aim
  •  stab
  •  undertaking
  •  struggle
  •  trial
  •  venture
  •  push
  •  whack
  •  lick
  •  labor
  •  essay
  •  full court press
  •  shot
  •  old college try
  •  one’s all
  •  full steam
  •  one’s level best
  •  try
  •  full blast
  •  exertion
  •  striving
  •  dry run
  •  toil
  •  effort
  •  header
  •  whirl
  •  all
  •  boldness
  •  acquiescence
  •  good try
  •  enthusiasm

Endeavor (v.) – to attempt to achieve something

  •  struggle
  •  have a shot at
  •  try
  •  scratch
  •  undertake
  •  drive at
  •  apply
  •  offer
  •  hammer away
  •  purpose
  •  assay
  •  aspire
  •  intend
  •  strain
  •  take on
  •  make an effort
  •  have a swing at
  •  seek
  •  go for
  •  bid for
  •  take pains
  •  dig
  •  push
  •  have a crack
  •  grind
  •  do one’s best
  •  make a run at
  •  risk
  •  go for broke
  •  plug
  •  labor
  •  sweat
  •  pour it on
  •  hump
  •  hustle
  •  strive
  •  venture
  •  buck
  •  address
  •  determine
  •  essay
  •  peg away
  •  hassle
  •  aim

There are also many words that mean the opposite of endeavor. These are below, also from Thesaurus.

  •  lethargy
  •  torpidity
  •  time to kill
  •  joblessness
  •  otiosity
  •  dormancy
  •  loitering
  •  slothfulness
  •  hibernation
  •  time to burn
  •  indolence
  •  leisure
  •  sloth
  •  inactivity
  •  torpor
  •  lazing
  •  pottering
  •  shiftlessness
  •  dawdling
  •  laziness
  •  time on one’s hands
  •  stupor
  •  goof-off time
  •  vegetating
  •  loafing
  •  laze
  •  slowness
  •  trifling
  •  idleness
  •  sluggishness
  •  dilly-dallying
  •  truancy
  •  inaction
  •  slouch
  •  time-wasting
  •  unemployment
  •  own sweet time
  •  droning
  •  inertia

What is the origin of the word endeavors?

According to Etymonline, the word endeavors was first used as a noun in the early 15c. This word literally means in duty, from the phrase to put (oneself) in dever, meaning to make it one’s duty. This is a partial translation of the Old French se mettre en deveir, from the Old French dever meaning duty. This comes from the Latin debere from the root de and the root habere meaning to have. This comes from the Proto-Indo-European root ghabh meaning to give or receive. The word endeavor has been used as a verb since circa 1400. One can also add the suffixes ed and ing to the verb endeavor to form the different types of verb tenses endeavored and endeavoring.

Overall, the word endeavor means some aggressive attempt, industrious undertaking, or serious determined effort. This 16th c word comes from the Middle English endeveren, Middle French en devoir de faire and Old French devoir or deveren, 


  1. Endeavors: Meaning, Origin, Translation | Word Sense
  2. endeavor | Origin and meaning of endeavor | Online Etymology Dictionary 
  3. ENDEAVOR Synonyms: 101 Synonyms & Antonyms for ENDEAVOR | Thesaurus 
  4. Endeavor | Definition of Endeavor | Merriam-Webster 
  5. IDLENESS Synonyms: 51 Synonyms & Antonyms for IDLENESS | Thesaurus