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verb at·tempt \ə-ˈtem(p)t\

Simple Definition of attempt

  • : to try to do (something) : to try to accomplish or complete (something)

Full Definition of attempt

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to make an effort to do, accomplish, solve, or effect <attempted to swim the swollen river>

  3. 2 archaic :  tempt

  4. 3 archaic :  to try to subdue or take by force :  attack

at·tempt·ableplay \-ˈtem(p)-tə-bəl\ adjective

Examples of attempt

  1. They've attempted a climb up Mount Everest once before.

  2. She attempted suicide early in their marriage.

Origin of attempt

Middle English, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French attempter, from Latin attemptare, from ad- + temptare to touch, try — more at tempt

First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of attempt

attempt, try, endeavor, essay, strive mean to make an effort to accomplish an end. attempt stresses the initiation or beginning of an effort <will attempt to photograph the rare bird>. try is often close to attempt but may stress effort or experiment made in the hope of testing or proving something <tried to determine which was the better procedure>. endeavor heightens the implications of exertion and difficulty <endeavored to find crash survivors in the mountains>. essay implies difficulty but also suggests tentative trying or experimenting <will essay a dramatic role for the first time>. strive implies great exertion against great difficulty and specifically suggests persistent effort <continues to strive for peace>.



noun at·tempt

Simple Definition of attempt

  • : an act of trying to do something

  • : something that results from trying to do something

Full Definition of attempt

  1. 1 a :  the act or an instance of attempting; especially :  an unsuccessful effort b :  something resulting from or representing an attempt <surrounded by … a few attempts at rose bushes — Marian Engel>

  2. 2 :  attack, assault <an attempt on the life of the president>

Examples of attempt

  1. She failed her driving test on the first attempt but she succeeded on her second attempt.

  2. Her attempt at a home-cooked meal consisted of frozen fish sticks and a can of soup.


First Known Use of attempt


Rhymes with attempt

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February 8, 2016

to clear from accusation or blame

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