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Endeavor vs. Endeavour

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History is replete with heroes and would-be heroes going to extraordinary lengths to achieve lofty goals. Many of them did not actually succeed, but their travails have been recorded as a monument to human determination and ingenuity. In English, we might call such attempts endeavors. Or would we call them endeavours?

What is the correct spelling or endeavor? Let’s take a look.

Origin:

The word endeavor originated from late Middle English (in the sense ‘exert oneself’): from the phrase put oneself in devoir ‘do one's utmost’.

Endeavor as verb:

Endeavor is used as a verb in English language where it means to try hard to do or achieve something.

He is endeavoring to help the Third World.

Endeavor as noun:

Endeavor is also used as a noun which means an attempt to achieve a goal.

It was a small endeavor to reduce serious injury.

An enterprise or undertaking is also known as endeavor.

A portfolio of business endeavors was presented.

Use of endeavor:

Endeavor is the American English spelling of the word. If you are writing to a primarily American audience, you will want to use this spelling.

Examples:

To assist him in his endeavors, Mr. Eccleston hired a cavalcade of analysts.

I’m sorry that I cannot help you, but I wish you well in your future endeavors.

Planning a trip to track gorillas is an intricate endeavor. –New York Post

Use of endeavour:

Endeavour is the British English spelling of the same word. It has the same meaning, applies to all the same contexts, and carries the same conversational risks.

Example:

The contestants were mentored by the people who’d nurtured the musical endeavours of Westlife, Ozzy Osbourne and, er, Zig and Zag – Louis Walsh, Sharon Osbourne and Simon Cowell respectively – and who would repeatedly tell them that the key was working hard and trying their best every week. –The Guardian

Endeavor or endeavour:

Endeavor and endeavour are the American and British variants, respectively, of a plural noun that refers to effortful or time-consuming attempts to do something. Endeavor is the American version of this word. Endeavour is the British version. Endeavour, with its extra U, is standard in the United Kingdom, which also has a U in it. The shared letter is your clue for the proper usage context of the word endeavour.

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"Endeavor vs. Endeavour." Grammar.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 20 Nov. 2017. <http://www.grammar.com/endeavor_vs._endeavour>.

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