1

attempt

verb at·tempt \ ə-ˈtem(p)t \

Definition of attempt

transitive verb
1 :to make an effort to do, accomplish, solve, or effect
  • He attempted to swim the swollen river.
2 archaic :tempt
3 archaic :to try to subdue or take by force :attack

attemptable

play \-ˈtem(p)-tə-bəl\ adjective

Examples of attempt in a Sentence

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

  2. She attempted suicide early in their marriage.

Recent Examples of attempt from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'attempt.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of attempt

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

attempt Synonyms

Synonyms
assay, endeavor, essay, seek, strive, try, have a go at, shoot at (or shoot for), try one's hand (at)
Related Words
fight, strain, struggle, toil, trouble, work; aim, aspire, hope; assume, take up, undertake
Near Antonyms
drop, give up, quit

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

2

attempt

noun

Definition of attempt

1 a :the act or an instance of trying to do or accomplish something :an act or instance of attempting something
  • She failed the test on her first attempt but passed on her second attempt.
  • They made an attempt [=tried] to be helpful.
; often :an unsuccessful effort
  • a suicide attempt
b :something resulting from or representing an attempt
  • … surrounded by lemon trees and a few attempts at rose bushes.
  • —Marian Engel
2 :attack, assault
  • an attempt on the life of the president

Examples of attempt in a Sentence

  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.

Recent Examples of attempt from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'attempt.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of attempt

attempt Synonyms



ATTEMPT Defined for English Language Learners

attempt

verb

Definition of attempt for English Language Learners

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


attempt

noun

Definition of attempt for English Language Learners

  • : an act of trying to do something

  • : something that results from trying to do something


ATTEMPT Defined for Kids

1

attempt

verb at·tempt \ ə-ˈtempt \

Definition of attempt for Students

attempted; attempting
:to try to do, accomplish, or complete
  • attempt to win

2

attempt

noun

Definition of attempt for Students

:the act or an instance of trying to do something They made two attempts to climb the mountain.

Law Dictionary

attempt

noun at·tempt

legal Definition of attempt

:the crime of having the intent to commit and taking action in an effort to commit a crime that fails or is prevented called also criminal attempt; see also impossibility
Note: There must generally be more than preparation to be guilty of attempt.


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