- 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 attempting
Why would “they” want to crush him just for attempting to buy something twenty years ago?Phylicia Rashad and the Cult of Cosby Truthers
January 8, 2015
Congress is attempting to pass the buck on federal funding for education.The ‘No Child’ Rewrite Threatens Your Kids’ Future
January 3, 2015
However, it appears it is this very open nature that the Lizard Squad is attempting to exploit.The Attack on the Hidden Internet
December 29, 2014
But we were attempting a deliberate naiveté, a decision to approach these books as if they might have something to teach us.American Democracy Under Threat for 250 Years
December 28, 2014
Government agencies will be attempting to keep a close eye on them, regardless.What the U.S. Can Learn from Europe About Dealing with Terrorists
December 15, 2014
Hester crept gently towards it, and Amy after her, not attempting to stop her.Weighed and Wanting
Taking Misargyrides' arm and attempting to steer him off-stage.The Dramatic Values in Plautus
Wilton Wallace Blancke
One gains nothing by attempting to shut out the sprites of the weather.Yankee Gypsies
John Greenleaf Whittier
Then it dawned on Drumsheugh that the doctor was attempting the Highland fling.A Doctor of the Old School, Part 3
I have told you already, so don't fly in the face of Providence by attempting to deny it!'Little Dorrit
- 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 attempting
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.