I. transitive verb Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French attempter, from Latin attemptare, from ad- + temptare to touch, try — more at tempt Date: 14th century 1. to make an effort to do, accomplish, solve, or effect <
attempted to swim the swollen river
2. archaic tempt 3. archaic to try to subdue or take by force ; attackattemptable adjective Synonyms: 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
. II. noun Date: 1534 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. attack, assault <
an attempt on the life of the president

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • attempt — at·tempt n: 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 ◇ There is no settled answer to how close to completing a… …   Law dictionary

  • attempt — vb Attempt, try, endeavor, essay, strive, struggle as verbs mean to make an effort to do something that may or may not be successful and as nouns (the single exception in form being striving) mean the effort made to accomplish such an end.… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Attempt — At*tempt , n. A essay, trial, or endeavor; an undertaking; an attack, or an effort to gain a point; esp. an unsuccessful, as contrasted with a successful, effort. [1913 Webster] By his blindness maimed for high attempts. Milton. [1913 Webster]… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Attempt — At*tempt (?; 215), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Attempted}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Attempting}.] [OF. atenter, also spelt atempter, F. attenter, fr. L. attentare to attempt; ad + tentare, temptare, to touch, try, v. intens. of tendere to stretch. See {Tempt},… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Attempt — At*tempt , v. i. To make an attempt; with upon. [Obs.] Sir T. Browne. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • attempt — [n] try, effort all one’s got*, attack, bid*, crack*, dry run*, endeavor, exertion, experiment, fling, go, header*, lick*, one’s all, one’s darnedest*, one’s level best*, pursuit, shot, stab, striving, struggle, trial, try, tryout, undertaking,… …   New thesaurus

  • attempt — [ə tempt′] vt. [ME attempten < OFr attempter < L attemptare, to try, solicit < ad , to + temptare, to try: see TEMPT] 1. to make an effort to do, get, have, etc.; try; endeavor 2. Archaic to tempt n. 1. a try 2. an attack, as on a person …   English World dictionary

  • attempt — ► VERB ▪ make an effort to achieve or complete (something). ► NOUN ▪ an act of attempting. ORIGIN Latin attemptare, from temptare to tempt …   English terms dictionary

  • attempt — {{Roman}}I.{{/Roman}} noun ADJECTIVE ▪ successful ▪ abortive, botched, failed, fruitless, futile, ill fated, misguided, unsuccessful …   Collocations dictionary

  • Attempt — This article is about the crime of attempt. For other uses, see wikt:attempt …   Wikipedia

  • attempt — I n. 1) to make an attempt 2) to foil, thwart an attempt 3) an abortive, fruitless, futile, vain; all out, concerted, last ditch; bold, brazen, daring; crude; deliberate; feeble, halfhearted, weak; first; premature; successful attempt; repeated… …   Combinatory dictionary

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