effort

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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

* 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 ?
However, there was nothing else to consider than an attempt to scale the trees contiguous to the cliff in an effort to reach the caves above.
Most of the teachers advised the abandoning of the effort to make bricks.
Tarzan started to descend and investigate the cavern when it occurred to him that it would save effort were he to lure Numa out instead.
Then he recollected the great final effort he had made.
Opposite Bashti, Wiwau lost one of the stones, and, in the effort to recover it, lost the other, which rolled a dozen feet away from the first.
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.
Seated at my own table in clear noonday light I saw a person whom, without my previous experience, I should have taken at the first blush for some housemaid who might have stayed at home to look after the place and who, availing herself of rare relief from observation and of the schoolroom table and my pens, ink, and paper, had applied herself to the considerable effort of a letter to her sweetheart.
With little or no effort he succeeded, and the great bulk rolled inertly upon the turf before him--the ape was dead.
He sucked and sucked and swallowed the cold snow, his lips quivered but his eyes, still smiling, glittered with effort and exasperation as he mustered his remaining strength.
and made a special effort to be civil to Crayford's friend.
Even the trifling effort to cross the room was an effort made in vain.
In the involuntary effort to maintain equilibrium, Joe had uncovered himself, flinging one arm out and lifting his head from beneath the sheltering shoulders.
When the Ass persisted in his effort, the man let him go and said, "Conquer, but conquer to your cost.
The old man, holding himself erect, moved in front, with his feet turned out, taking long, regular strides, and with a precise and regular action which seemed to cost him no more effort than swinging one's arms in walking, as though it were in play, he laid down the high, even row of grass.
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.