verb (used without object)
- to exert oneself to do or effect something; make an effort; strive: We must constantly endeavor if we are to succeed.
verb (used with object)
- to attempt; try: He endeavors to keep things neat in his apartment.
- Archaic. to attempt to achieve or gain.
- a strenuous effort; attempt.
early 15c., “pains taken to attain an object,” literally “in duty,” from phrase put (oneself) in dever “make it one’s duty” (a partial translation of Old French mettre en deveir “put in duty”), from Old French dever “duty,” from Latin debere “to owe” (see debt). One’s endeavors meaning one’s “utmost effort” is from late 15c.
c.1400; see endeavor (n.). Related: Endeavored; endeavoring.