Concerted Effort: Quick Summary
Concerted effort means “doing something in collaboration with others.” However, its use to describe a “determined, organized, and vigorous attempt” by an individual is increasingly common, though sometimes contested.
Table of Contents
We’re going to be as straightforward as possible and state that:
- Concerted effort originally referred to a collaborative effort.
- But concerted effort is also commonly used when referring to an individual to mean “an organized and determined attempt.”
But is one right and the other wrong? That’s what this blog post aims to uncover. We promise we will make a concerted effort to be as clear and informative as possible.
Let’s get started!
Understanding the Meaning of “Concerted Effort”
To understand what the phrase concerted effort means, we must first review the word concerted. The Oxford Dictionary provides two definitions for this adjective. We’ll start with the primary one, which is “jointly arranged, planned, or carried out.” In this sense, concerted refers to doing something together with at least one other person. As an adjective, concerted can modify any noun; it’s not strictly reserved for “effort.”
They launched a concerted attack against their rival but lost either way.
The founders met to discuss a concerted approach to introducing their products.
We planned to execute a concerted strategy that involved the cooperation of several departments.
The managers floated around the idea of possibly doing a concerted campaign.
In the examples above, the word concerted helps indicate that a group effort was involved to achieve a particular goal. It may help to remember that the word concerted is derived from the word concert, which can refer to a “group of musicians performing together,” but also identifies other types of cooperative behavior.
Let’s move on to the second definition from the Oxford Dictionary, which is “strenuously carried out; done with great effort.” If you’re a strict grammarian, you might find this meaning rather peculiar. That’s because it is often stated that attributing a concerted effort to a single person is an incorrect use of the phrase. But is it?
According to the Oxford Dictionary, applying concerted effort to individuals who did something in a strategic, determined, and strenuous manner is grammatically correct.
He made a concerted effort to find a job that nourished his skills.
After failing the exam three times, Alexandra made a concerted effort to pass by any means necessary.
The novelist made a concerted effort in researching, writing, and publishing a book.
Again, grammarians may be seething at reading this. But keep in mind that we’re simply stating the definitions provided by one of the most respected historical dictionaries available.
“Concerted Effort” Synonyms
If you want to avoid the risk of misusing this phrase, you can always opt for a synonym instead.
The following expressions can replace concerted effort when referring to a “group effort.”
The neighbors launched a collaborative endeavor to create a community garden.
Cleaning up the city after the hurricane required a cooperative effort from several state departments.
The companies announced a joint effort to develop more a more eco-friendly delivery system.
Winning the championship was no easy feat; it required a team effort.
The options below can be used as synonyms for concerted effort when attributing it to an individual.
She made a diligent attempt to master the violin.
He made a determined effort to win first place in the art fair.
His rigorous pursuit of excellence earned him numerous prestigious awards in his field.
The company developed a strategic approach to remaining at the top of the industry.
Using “Concerted Effort” Correctly
When it comes to concerted effort, you should be aware that many people believe that using this phrase when referring to one person is blatantly incorrect. On the other hand, you may also occasionally find reputable publications that employ concerted effort to refer to a single person’s actions.
So, what are you supposed to do?
The truth is that it’s up to you! Now you know that the Oxford Dictionary includes both meanings; therefore, you can decide how to use the phrase.
Clearly, English can be confusing. Don’t let commonly confused phrases—like exasperate and exacerbate, and many others—stop you in your tracks! LanguageTool is a personal writing assistant that can ensure correct usage of vocabulary, grammar, and punctuation. Additionally, it can help sharpen your writing skills by tracking your productivity.
You and LanguageTool can make a concerted effort to write powerful prose, so you can become the writer you want to be. Try it today!