effort (n.)

late 15c., "laborious attempt, strenuous exertion," from Middle 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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Definitions of effort from WordNet

effort (n.)
earnest and conscientious activity intended to do or accomplish something;
made an effort to cover all the reading material
Synonyms: attempt / endeavor / endeavour / try
effort (n.)
use of physical or mental energy; hard work;
he got an A for effort
Synonyms: elbow grease / exertion / travail / sweat
effort (n.)
a notable achievement;
the book was her finest effort
Synonyms: feat / exploit
effort (n.)
a series of actions advancing a principle or tending toward a particular end;
contributed to the war effort
Synonyms: campaign / cause / crusade / drive / movement