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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, for

an all-out effort

An attempt made with one's full attention 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

bend (one's) efforts

To put forth a great deal of effort toward some goal or end. I've been bending my efforts to find a way out of these legal problems, but, as of now, I'm still going to prison.
See also: bend, effort

bend (one's) mind

To consider, reflect upon, or think hard about something. If you would just bend your mind, I'm sure you could find a solution to the company's excess costs.
See also: bend, mind

Herculean effort

A job, task, or activity that requires a huge amount of effort, energy, or physical strength. Sometimes used ironically or hyperbolically. But getting enough votes to pass the controversial legislation may prove to be a Herculean effort. Sometimes it feels like finding a good burger that isn't the price of a sirloin steak is a Herculean effort. It will be a Herculean effort for them to dethrone the former champions in this year's Super Bowl, but they certainly have a shot.
See also: effort

last-ditch defense

A final, desperate effort to save or protect something or to avoid failure or defeat. The soldiers are preparing for a last-ditch defense against the enemy troops. The senator made an impassioned plea on national television last night as a last-ditch defense of the controversial legislation. The experimental high-energy laser weapon could serve as last-ditch defenses against missiles and enemy aircraft.
See also: defense

last-ditch effort

A final effort or attempt to solve a problem or avoid failure or defeat, especially after a series of failures or setbacks. The home team is mounting one last-ditch effort in the final seconds of the game to try to force an overtime showdown. In a last-ditch effort to avoid a government shutdown, congress has pushed forward a new spending bill meant to plug the debt ceiling for another year.
See also: effort

last-gasp effort

A final, usually drastic or risky attempt, with failure as the only alternative. The home team is mounting one last-gasp effort in the final seconds of the game to try to force an overtime showdown. In a last-gasp effort to avoid a government shutdown, Congress has pushed forward a new spending bill.
See also: effort

make an effort (to do something)

To put forth a moderate effort (to do, achieve, or accomplish something). I'll make an effort, but I can't guarantee that I'll be home before the party starts. I'm trying to make an effort to keep in touch with my family more often. I'm not expecting anything extravagant from her for our anniversary, but it would be nice if she made an effort.
See also: effort, make

make every effort (to do something)

To put forth the greatest possible effort (to do, achieve, or accomplish something). I'll make every effort, but I can't guarantee that I'll be home before the party starts. We've made every effort to ensure the transition process is as seamless as possible for you and your team.
See also: effort, every, make

spare no effort to (do something)

To put the maximum amount of effort into something; to work as hard as possible to do something. Police have spared no effort in securing the area ahead of the event. We will spare no effort in bringing those responsible to justice.
See also: effort, no, spare, to
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

* 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, for

*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, to
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

all out

using all your strength or resources.
See also: all, out
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

bend your ˈmind/ˈefforts to something

(formal) think very hard about or put a lot of effort into one particular thing
See also: bend, effort, mind, something, to

a ˌlast-ditch ˈstand/atˈtempt/ˈeffort

a final attempt to avoid defeat: They are making a last-ditch stand to save the company.This is a last-ditch attempt to stop the strike. Ditch in this idiom refers to a long channel built to defend an area against attack.
See also: attempt, effort, stand
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

all out

With all one's strength, ability, or resources.
See also: all, out
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

last-ditch defense/effort

A desperate final measure. In military terminology of the seventeenth century the “last ditch” was the ultimate line of defense. By the eighteenth century the term was being used figuratively, as in Thomas Jefferson’s description, “A government driven to the last ditch by the universal call for liberty.”
See also: defense, effort
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
This style of parenting has been associated with higher levels of effortful control (zhou, Eisenberg, Wang, & Reiser, 2004) and self-regulation (Baumrind & Black, 1967).
Although relatively prone to failure in offender samples, effortful control can be taught and trained to some extent (e.g.
Participants did not choose any type of homework assignment more frequently than any other type, [[??].sup.2] (2, n = 142) = .39, p >.05 (see Table 3), yet participants were more likely to choose an assignment they perceived as less difficult, [[??].sup.2] (1, N = 140) = 19.76, p < .01, less effortful [[??].sup.2] (1, N = 140) = 23.25, p < .01, or less time consuming, [[??].sup.2] (1, N = 140) = 4.57, p < .01, for the homework assignment.
The construct of need for cognition was introduced by Cacioppo and Petty (1982) and refers to the extent to which people choose to engage in and enjoy effortful thought.
Participants' core relational themes were assessed by three face-valid items measuring effortful optimism/potential for success, threat, and helplessness.
The Need for Cognition Scale (NCS; Cacioppo, Petty, & Kao, 1984) includes 18 items designed to measure enjoyment of effortful cognition.
Since both the ability to comprehend effortful material and process information effectively are related to studying, it would be expected that students high in need for cognition would display high life satisfaction since they both enjoy and are more proficient at studying.
He continued with, "In most situations, the automatic processing of the experiential system is dominant over the rational system because it is less effortful and more efficient and, accordingly, is the default option." (5) He noted that people frequently engage in experiential thinking during everyday events simply because it is more efficient, but "emotional arousal and relevant experience are considered to shift the balance of influence in the direction of the experiential system." (6) This clearly applies to officers involved in shootings and other high-stress situations.
An even less effortful despatch of Noverre seems to be the main basis of the claim that he's a "monster".
Through this effortful reasoning process, the recipients integrate the provided information into their own belief structures, which then may result in attitude change.
The book is enlivened with the judgments that sprinkle its display of rather effortful superiority: where Margaret Thatcher was right, where Einstein was wrong, when Jesus' teaching is admirable, and when it is 'caustic to the human weft when neat'.
"Automatic" tasks such as video or computer games or reading for pleasure will not identify ADHD--only effortful tasks will.
The goals are motor reprogramming to restore normal breathing patterns, reduced effortful breathing, a focus on exhalation, increased sensory awareness, and self-correction of acute episodes.