Originally the reflexive form of an archaic verb censt, from Proto-Baltic *kensti, from *kent-ti, from Proto-Indo-European *ken- with an extra t, meaning “to try hard, to strive for, to hurry” from an earlier “to rise, to stretch.” The meaning of censties would thus have evolved from “to stretch oneself” to “to make an effort, to strive for.” Note, in addition to the standard forms with š (cenšos < *kentyuos), there are also dialectal forms with t (centos) and with s (censos), which explains why, alongside standard derived forms centīgs, centība, there are also parallel forms like censīgs, sacensība and censonis.
- to strive for, to endeavor (to make efforts to, to insist on, doing something)
- censties saprast ― to make an effort, to strive to understand
- censties kādu panākt ― to strive to catch up with someone
- visiem spēkiem censties sasniegt mērķi ― to make all efforts to reach (one's) goals
- Rūdis gulēja aizvērtām acīm un centās iemigt, skaitīdams līdz simtam un atpakaļ ― Rūdis lay down with closed eyes and tried hard to fall asleep, counting up to a hundred and back
- nē, viņa nevēlējās samierināties ar savas dzīves ēnām, nespēja un arī necentās atrast attaisnojumu Fēliksa Vildes rīcībai ― no, she did not want to be satisfied with their life's shadows, she couldn't and also didn't make an effort to find an excuse for Fēlikss Vilde's actions
- prefixed verbs: