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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 ?
However, the within-trial contrast (WTC) hypothesis provided a more parsimonious explanation for the phenomenon that humans prefer the outcome that follows more effortful events.
It's important to choose programs that have been scientifically developed and proven, and training that adapts to performance and requires effortful attention.
Practicing meditation is constantly effortful, and it requires continued practice," explains neurologist Anand Viswanathan, MD, PhD, Director of the Partners Telestroke Program at MGH and Associate Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School.
Our automatic brain: We have two brains: one that is effortful and one that is automatic and effortless.
For young children, the process of getting from print to meaning is slow and effortful.
Voluntary single effortful swallows of saliva ("effortful" swallow).
Objective: We usually think that as we emerge from childhood, our brains become less plastic, making learning effortful and highly specific.
Christensen's language is simple, but her words are buoyed by a palpable sense of acceptance and of being at peace with herself that doesn't require an effortful attempt to tie all of the facts of her story into a very pretty, very tight bow.
She is therefore rhetorically constructing the subject position of a second generation effortful, educated person, who is open to emigrate from Greece, if things 'are very difficult' (1.
Certain stimuli may 'rescue' the new neurons from death, including effortful learning experiences and mental training.
Ericsson proposed the concept of "deliberate practice," defining it as "goal-oriented, structured and effortful practice" in which motivation, resources and focused attention determine amount and quality of time spent at the instrument.
In that situation, you are totally focused, every move is tense and effortful, and your executive function drains away.