Etymology
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exertion (n.)

1660s, "act of exerting," from exert + -ion. Meaning "vigorous action or effort" is from 1777.

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effort (n.)

late 15c., "laborious attempt, strenuous exertion," from French effort, from Old French esforz "force, impetuosity, strength, power," verbal noun from esforcier "force out, exert oneself," from Vulgar Latin *exfortiare "to show strength" (source of Italian sforza), from Latin ex "out" (see ex-) + Latin fortis "strong" (see fort).

Effort is only effort when it begins to hurt. [José Ortega y Gasset, writing of Goethe in Partisan Review, vol. xvi, part ii, 1949]

Related: Efforts "voluntary exertion," also "result of exertion."

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inactivity (n.)

"want of action or exertion, sluggishness," 1640s, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + activity. Phrase masterly inactivity attested by 1791.

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self-realization (n.)

"the making actual, by an exertion of will, that which lies dormant in one's soul; the fulfilment, by one's own effort, of the potential in one's soul," 1839, from self- + realization.

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field-day (n.)

1747, originally a day of military exercise and review (see field (v.)); figurative sense "any day of unusual bustle, exertion, or display" [Century Dictionary] is from 1827.

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neocolonialism (n.)

also neo-colonialism, "the exertion of influence or control over other nations, especially former dependencies, without direct military or political control," 1955, from neo- "new" + colonialism.

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beat (adj.)

"defeated, overcome by effort," c. 1400, from past tense of beat (v.). The meaning "tired, exhausted by exertion," is by 1905, American English. For beat generation see beatnik.

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cerebration (n.)

"exertion of the brain," whether conscious or unconscious, 1853, coined by English physiologist Dr. William B. Carpenter (1813-1885) from Latin cerebrum "brain" (see cerebral) + -ation. Related: Cerebrate (v.); cerebrated.

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attainment (n.)

1540s, "action of acquiring by effort, act of reaching by exertion," from French atteignement, from attaindre "to come up to, reach, attain, endeavor, strive" (see attain). The sense of "that which is attained, personal accomplishment" dates from 1670s.

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painstaking 

1550s, paynes taking, "assiduous and careful labor"  (n.), 1690s, "characterized by close or conscientious application, laborious and careful" (adj.), from plural of pain (n.) in the "exertion, effort" sense + present participle of take (v.). Related: Painstakingly.

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