effort


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Acronyms, Encyclopedia.

A for effort

A verbal acknowledgement of appreciation for attempting a task, even if it did not produce a successful result. You forgot to sand the wood before you painted it, but I'll give you an A for effort since you tried to help.
See also: effort

an all-out effort

An attempt made with one's full attention and/or fortitude; one's best effort. To beat the best team in the league, we need to make an all-out effort tonight, boys. As soon as I got an academic warning, I started an all-out effort to improve my grades.
See also: effort

* A for effort

Fig. acknowledgement for having tried to do something, even if it was not successful. (*Typically: get ~; give someone ~.) The plan didn't work, but I'll give you an A for effort for trying.
See also: effort

*an all-out effort

a very good and thorough effort. (*Typically: begin ~; have ~; make ~; start ~.) We need to make an all-out effort to get this job done on time. The government began an all-out effort to reduce the federal budget.
See also: effort

*last-ditch effort

Fig. a final effort; the last possible attempt. (*Typically: be ~; have ~; make ~.) I made one last-ditch effort to get her to stay. It was a last-ditch effort. I didn't expect it to work.
See also: effort

make every effort to do something

to try very hard to accomplish something. I will make every effort to be there on time.
See also: effort, every, make

spare no effort to do something

to work as hard as possible to achieve something Emergency services have spared no effort to help people whose homes were destroyed by the tornadoes.
Related vocabulary: spare no expense
See also: effort, spare

all out

With all one's strength, ability, or resources; not holding back. For example, They are going all out to make the fund-raiser a success. This seemingly modern term dates from about 1300, when it meant "completely" or "wholly." It now refers to making a great effort and is also used adjectivally, as in an all-out effort. This usage became current in America in the late 1800s, with reference to races and other kinds of athletic exertion. In the mid-1900s it gave rise to the phrase to go all out and was transferred to just about any energetic undertaking. Also see go whole hog.
See also: all, out

last-ditch effort

A desperate final attempt, as in We're making a last-ditch effort to finish on time. This expression alludes to the military sense of last ditch, "the last line of defense." Its figurative use dates from the early 1800s.
See also: effort

all out

With all one's strength, ability, or resources.
See also: all, out
References in classic literature ?
As soon as we got the farm work reasonably well started, we directed our next efforts toward the industry of making bricks.
As the clinging things upon his feet and face resisted his every effort to dislodge them, Numa became frantic.
By this time the lion's efforts had almost ceased--it was evident that he was being rapidly strangled and as that did not at all suit the purpose of the Tarmangani the latter swung again into the tree, unfastened the rope from above and lowered the lion to the ground where he immediately followed it and loosed the noose about Numa's neck.
The plan proposed is, that a detachment of the able-bodied officers and men among us should set forth this very day, and make another effort to reach the nearest inhabited settlements, from which help and provisions may be dispatched to those who remain here.
He panted and sobbed, wasting his effort by too much effort, losing sanity and control and futilely trying to compensate for the loss by excess of physical endeavor.
Ask me some other time, when you can speak like a gentleman,' returned he, and he made an effort to pass me again; but I quickly re-captured the pony, scarce less astonished than its master at such uncivil usage.
From the time of our party, which was upwards of a week ago, I had been making daily efforts to meet its mistress in her walks; and always disappointed (she must have managed it so on purpose), had nightly kept revolving in my mind some pretext for another call.
Swinging his scythe just as ever, and moving his feet in their big, plaited shoes with firm, little steps, he climbed slowly up the steep place, and though his breeches hanging out below his smock, and his whole frame trembled with effort, he did not miss one blade of grass or one mushroom on his way, and kept making jokes with the peasants and Levin.
On the day of my return from Dorking, I determined that the next morning should find me bent on a new effort at forcing my way, through all obstacles, from the darkness to the light.
I rose the next morning, with Objective-Subjective and Subjective-Objective inextricably entangled together in my mind; and I began the day which was to witness my next effort at practical action of some kind, by doubting whether I had any sort of right (on purely philosophical grounds) to consider any sort of thing
Your sister has defied all my efforts to check her; she has disappeared in company with my master, Mr.
It has until lately been a received and uncontradicted opinion that the prosperity of the people of America depended on their continuing firmly united, and the wishes, prayers, and efforts of our best and wisest citizens have been constantly directed to that object.
MY BELOVED MAKAR ALEXIEVITCH,--So eager am I to do something that will please and divert you in return for your care, for your ceaseless efforts on my behalf--in short, for your love for me-- that I have decided to beguile a leisure hour for you by delving into my locker, and extracting thence the manuscript which I send you herewith.
Stroeve could not bear to be alone, and I exhausted myself in efforts to distract him.
A KIND-HEARTED Physician sitting at the bedside of a patient afflicted with an incurable and painful disease, heard a noise behind him, and turning saw a cat laughing at the feeble efforts of a wounded mouse to drag itself out of the room.