› [C or U] a serious attempt to do something: an effort to do sth This is part of an ongoing effort to develop the Asian debt market. The guidelines require that companies make an effort to engender a culture of ethical compliance. The new system has been introduced in an effort to improve customer care. Ensuring the product is launched on time will be a team effort. Over the past year, the combined efforts of the train companies has produced a 12% increase in passenger business and a 20% expansion of freight traffic. › [U] physical or mental activity needed to achieve something, or energy used to do something: A number of returns which were prepared manually are now produced by the computer, resulting in saving of staff time and effort.take/require effort Taking the time to compare prices means that the purchase takes more effort, but it's usually worth it.