Synonyms & Antonyms of attempt

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 an effort to do or accomplish something
  • it took several attempts before we made good ice cream with an old-fashioned hand-cranked ice cream freezer

Synonyms for attempt

Words Related to attempt

2 the act or action of setting upon with force or violence
  • several attempts on the life of the country's chief drug enforcement official

Synonyms for attempt

Words Related to attempt

Near Antonyms for attempt



Synonyms & Antonyms of attempt (Entry 2 of 2)

to make an effort to do
  • after attempting—and failing—to start the lawn mower on my own, I finally succeeded with a neighbor's help
  • don't even attempt walking on your broken foot

Synonyms for attempt

Words Related to attempt

Phrases Synonymous with attempt

Near Antonyms for attempt

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About attempt

How does the verb attempt differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of attempt are endeavor, essay, strive, and try. While all these words 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

When is it sensible to use endeavor instead of attempt?

The words endeavor and attempt can be used in similar contexts, but endeavor heightens the implications of exertion and difficulty.

endeavored to find crash survivors in the mountains

When could essay be used to replace attempt?

While in some cases nearly identical to attempt, essay implies difficulty but also suggests tentative trying or experimenting.

will essay a dramatic role for the first time

When might strive be a better fit than attempt?

The meanings of strive and attempt largely overlap; however, strive implies great exertion against great difficulty and specifically suggests persistent effort.

continues to strive for peace

How do try and attempt relate to one another?

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

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Time Traveler for attempt

Time Traveler

The first known use of attempt was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Attempt.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jan. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on attempt

Nglish: Translation of attempt for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of attempt for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about attempt


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