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1. The use of physical or mental energy to do something; exertion.
2. A difficult exertion of strength or will: It was an effort to get up.
3. A usually earnest attempt: Make an effort to arrive promptly.
4. Something done or produced through exertion; an achievement: a play that was his finest effort.
5. Physics
a. Force applied against inertia.
b. The force needed by a machine to accomplish work on a load.

[Middle English, from Old French esfort, from esforcier, to force, exert, from Medieval Latin exfortiāre : Latin ex-, ex- + Latin fortis, strong; see bhergh- in Indo-European roots.]

ef′fort·ful adj.
ef′fort·ful·ly adv.


requiring effort


(ˈɛf ərt fəl)

marked by effort or exertion; labored.
ef′fort•ful•ly, adv.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.effortful - requiring great physical effort
difficult, hard - not easy; requiring great physical or mental effort to accomplish or comprehend or endure; "a difficult task"; "nesting places on the cliffs are difficult of access"; "difficult times"; "why is it so hard for you to keep a secret?"
effortless - requiring or apparently requiring no effort; "the swallows glided in an effortless way through the busy air"


1. Requiring great or extreme bodily, mental, or spiritual strength:
2. Not natural or spontaneous:
References in periodicals archive ?
Monitoring Affect During Effortful Problem Solving Activities.
The central route involves an extensive and effortful cognitive activity, whereas the peripheral route needs fewer cognitive resources.
This fact is especially heartening in light of a recent book on the science of successful learning demonstrating that "[l]earning is deeper and more durable when it's effortful.
The path to action is not fully specified in advance"', it "often yields multiple solutions"; "it involves nuanced judgment and interpretation"', it "often involves uncertainty"; it "involves self-regulation", it "is effortful.
The company's mission is to make exercise feel less effortful and more enjoyable using music.
Performing your daily activities is more effortful when you are carrying more weight, and it will be more difficult to care for your growing child.
It is plausible that early lifestyle habits characterized by less effortful interactive experiences, such as early television viewing, can ultimately result in social skill deficits.
That means that for some students, access to word meanings is slow and effortful.
Undoubtedly, if individuals, groups, organizations and institutions of society are responsible about the events and various crises and are responsible and effortful about their responsibilities to resolve the crisis, many problems will be minimized and the community will be safe and sound.
The vibrant singing of Mariusz Kwiecien gave pleasure, though he was better in powerful passages than in the Act II "Serenade," in which the long-spun piano lines were a bit effortful.
The study group's preparation to respond is a lot more effortful," Dr.
Type 2, or slow thinking, involves more open-minded, rational, deliberate, and effortful thinking.