Etymology
Advertisement
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."

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
effortless (adj.)
1752, "passive, making no effort," from effort + -less. Meaning "easy, requiring no effort" is from 1810. Related: Effortlessly; effortlessness.
Related entries & more 
sforzando (adj.)

"with sudden energy or impulse," 1801, from Italian sforzando, present participle of sforza "to force," from Vulgar Latin *exfortiare "to show strength" (see effort).

Related entries & more 
attempt (n.)
1530s, "a putting forth of effort in some difficult or uncertain endeavor," from attempt (v.). Meaning "effort to accomplish something by violence" is from 1580s, especially as an assault on someone's life.
Related entries & more 
half-measure (n.)
"incomplete effort," 1798, from half + measure (n.).
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
dead-lift (n.)

1550s, "a pull exerting the utmost effort (of a horse), from dead (adj.) + lift (n.). From 1560s in figurative sense of "a position in which one can do no more;" by 1882 as "an effort involving the whole strength."

Related entries & more 
pant (n.)

"a gasping breath, a quick, short effort of breathing," c. 1500, from pant (v.).

Related entries & more 
try (n.)
late 15c., "screen for sifting," from try (v.). From 1832 as "an effort, an attempt."
Related entries & more 
buck (n.4)
"violent effort of a horse to throw off a rider," 1877, from buck (v.1).
Related entries & more 
exertion (n.)
1660s, "act of exerting," from exert + -ion. Meaning "vigorous action or effort" is from 1777.
Related entries & more