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.
- 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use attempt in a sentence
Lowe’s is making its biggest play yet for holiday season sales this year by adding fun to its assortment in an attempt to get beyond things like drywall and power tools.How Lowe’s and Home Depot plan to keep growing even after the COVID home improvement boom | Phil Wahba | November 20, 2020 | Fortune
It’s an attempt, then, to gauge how quickly a virus is spreading.
An attempt was made to enter a residence by opening a window.
In October 2019, for example, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted to freeze the sheriff’s spending, in an attempt to pressure Sheriff Alex Villanueva into dealing with the department’s budget issues.New County Board and Sheriff Could Be Headed for a Standoff | Maya Srikrishnan | November 11, 2020 | Voice of San Diego
They couldn’t capitalize on the second chance given to them when the Jets were penalized for having too many men on the field when the Patriots lined up for an earlier field goal attempt.The Patriots’ season isn’t fixed, but at least they avoided losing to the Jets | Mark Maske | November 10, 2020 | Washington Post
Why would “they” want to crush him just for attempting to buy something twenty years ago?
Congress is attempting to pass the buck on federal funding for education.The ‘No Child’ Rewrite Threatens Your Kids’ Future | Jonah Edelman | January 3, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
However, it appears it is this very open nature that the Lizard Squad is attempting to exploit.
But we were attempting a deliberate naiveté, a decision to approach these books as if they might have something to teach us.
Despite at least nine other states attempting similar legislation, there has been no further success.
Answered Elizabeth, hardly attempting to conceal her scornful doubt of his sincerity.The Pastor's Fire-side Vol. 3 of 4 | Jane Porter
And Mrs. Haggard, after attempting to soothe the wounded feelings of her maid, directed her to accompany them.The Pit Town Coronet, Volume I (of 3) | Charles James Wills
Hence it is generally remarked that the English of almost any class show to least advantage when attempting to enjoy themselves.Glances at Europe | Horace Greeley
Bruce probably kept him under observation, retiring before him beyond the Forth, and not attempting to bar his progress to Perth.King Robert the Bruce | A. F. Murison
In attempting to break the aqueduct of Chapoltepec to cut off the water from the city, a powerful resistance was made.The Every Day Book of History and Chronology | Joel Munsell
British Dictionary definitions for attempt
to make an effort (to do something) or to achieve (something); try
to try to surmount (an obstacle)
to try to climb: they 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 kill: an attempt on his life
- attemptable, adjective
- attempter, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012