attempt 1 of 2


2 of 2


as in to try
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 & Similar Words

Antonyms & Near Antonyms

Synonym Chooser

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

Thesaurus Entries Near attempt

Cite this Entry

“Attempt.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Jun. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on attempt

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!