- to make an effort at; try; undertake; seek: to attempt an impossible task; to attempt to walk six miles.
- Archaic. to attack; move against in a hostile manner: to attempt a person's life.
- Archaic. to tempt.
- an effort made to accomplish something: He made an attempt to swim across the lake.
- an attack or assault: an attempt upon the leader's life.
Origin of attempt
SynonymsSee more synonyms for attempt on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for attempt
In its attempt to discredit the story, the JPO inadvertently confirmed that fact.Pentagon Misfires in Stealth Jet Scandal
January 8, 2015
Their first attempt to unseat the House speaker failed miserably, so why not try again?The YOLO Caucus' New Cry for Attention
January 4, 2015
It has a presence, it remains potentially destructive, but all we can do is attempt to marshal it.Grief: The Real Monster in The Babadook
December 19, 2014
It was an attempt to combat a growing chill on free speech in Turkey while placing his newspaper at the center of the debate.Turkey Arrests Journalists in Crackdown
December 14, 2014
Answer to the last one: trans people are ten times more likely to attempt suicide than non-trans people.Do LGBTs Owe Christians an Olive Branch? Try The Other Way Around
December 14, 2014
To attempt it finds no support in the principles of our Constitution.
As to some of the others, I cannot wonder at any thing they do, or attempt to do, where self is concerned.Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)
It was not soon that he risked an attempt to please her with a song of his own.Weighed and Wanting
Those of us who have no form of pietism feel cut off from making the attempt at all.
And in making this attempt I must write from my own experience.
- to make an effort (to do something) or to achieve (something); try
- to try to surmount (an obstacle)
- to try to climbthey will attempt the north wall of the Eiger
- archaic to attack
- archaic to tempt
- an endeavour to achieve something; effort
- a result of an attempt or endeavour
- an attack, esp with the intention to killan attempt on his life
Word Origin and History for attempt
late 14c., from Old French attempter (14c.), earlier atenter "to try, attempt, test," from Latin attemptare "to try" (cf. Italian attentare, Old Provençal, Portuguese attentar, Spanish atentar), from ad- "to, upon" (see ad-) + temptare "to try" (see tempt). Related: Attempted; attempting.
1530s, from attempt (v.). Meaning "effort to accomplish something by violence" is from 1580s, especially as an assault on someone's life.