View synonyms for attempt


[ uh-tempt ]

verb (used with object)

  1. to make an effort at; try; undertake; seek:

    to attempt an impossible task; to attempt to walk six miles.

  2. Archaic. to attack; move against in a hostile manner:

    to attempt a person's life.

  3. Archaic. to tempt.


  1. an effort made to accomplish something:

    He made an attempt to swim across the lake.

    Synonyms: endeavor, try

  2. an attack or assault:

    an attempt upon the leader's life.


/ əˈtɛmpt /


  1. to make an effort (to do something) or to achieve (something); try
  2. to try to surmount (an obstacle)
  3. to try to climb

    they will attempt the north wall of the Eiger

  4. archaic.
    to attack
  5. archaic.
    to tempt


  1. an endeavour to achieve something; effort
  2. a result of an attempt or endeavour
  3. an attack, esp with the intention to kill

    an attempt on his life

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Attempt should not be used in the passive when followed by an infinitive: attempts were made to find a solution (not a solution was attempted to be found )

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Derived Forms

  • atˈtemptable, adjective
  • atˈtempter, noun

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Other Words From

  • at·tempta·bili·ty noun
  • at·tempta·ble adjective
  • at·tempter noun
  • quasi-at·tempt verb
  • reat·tempt verb (used with object)
  • unat·tempta·ble adjective
  • unat·tempted adjective
  • unat·tempting adjective
  • well-at·tempted adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of attempt1

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English from Anglo-French atempter from Latin attemptāre “to test, tamper with.” See at-, tempt

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Word History and Origins

Origin of attempt1

C14: from Old French attempter, from Latin attemptāre to strive after, from tentāre to try

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Synonym Study

See try.

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Example Sentences

The orange dot is part of a broader attempt by Apple to burnish its reputation as a privacy-conscious company, and to differentiate the iPhone from Android devices, where privacy controls are more loose.

From Fortune

Barr’s speech Wednesday, then, was an attempt to argue that all of these actions on his part were not only defensible, but good and necessary.

From Vox

First, a commanding officer must review and approve all search warrants before an officer seeks judicial approval for the warrant, in an attempt to calculate and assess risk.

From Vox

This is not an attempt to whitewash our waste, to bury the toll that humans are taking on the planet right now.

He said the operation reflected an attempt by Turning Point Action to maintain its advocacy despite the challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic, which has curtailed many traditional political events.

In its attempt to discredit the story, the JPO inadvertently confirmed that fact.

The email appears to have been a relatively common attempt to gain personal information from a wide range of unwitting victims.

The attempt to “breed back” the Auroch of Teutonic legend was of a piece with the Nazi obsession with racial purity and eugenics.

Their first attempt to unseat the House speaker failed miserably, so why not try again?

He was killed by his captors during the U.S. rescue attempt in Yemen in December.

I do not know how things are in America but in England there has been a ridiculous attempt to suppress Bolshevik propaganda.

She began the study of drawing at the age of thirty, and her first attempt in oils was made seven years later.

This was somewhat tiresome; and, after a rather feeble attempt at a third laugh, Davy said, "I don't feel like it any more."

In cases in which no attempt is made to ignore the accusation, the small wits are wont to be busy discovering exculpations.

But it was a long time before he found any one who was willing to attempt to rearrange his scribbled thoughts.


Related Words

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More About Attempt

What does attempt mean?

An attempt is an effort made to complete a task, as in My attempt to go to the concert failed when my car broke down.

To attempt means to try to complete a task, as in When Riddhi attempted to run to better her health, she found that she really enjoyed it too.

When you attempt something, you are making some kind of effort, whether or not you succeed. To attempt is to try.

Example: Louise attempted to make bread, but she forgot to add yeast to the recipe.

Where does attempt come from?

The first records of the term attempt come from the 1300s. It comes from the Latin attemptāre, meaning “to test or tamper with.” When you attempt something, you test your ability to do that thing.

Less commonly, an attempt is also an attack, especially an attack that is meant to kill. If someone makes an attempt on a leader’s life, for example, it means that someone tried to kill that leader. When a murder or other crime is tried but fails, we call that an attempted crime, such as attempted murder or attempted robbery, and the person who made the attempt may be found guilty of breaking the law.

Did you know … ?

What are some other forms related to attempt?

  • attemtability (noun)
  • attemptable (adjective)
  • attempter (noun)
  • unattempted (adjective)

What are some synonyms for attempt?

What are some words that share a root or word element with attempt?

What are some words that often get used in discussing attempt?

How is attempt used in real life?

Attempt is another way to say “try.”


Try using attempt!

Which of the following is NOT a synonym for attempt?

A. neglect
B. seek
C. try
D. undertake

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