• IPA: /əˈtɛmpt/

attempt (attempts, present participle attempting; past and past participle attempted)

  1. To try.
    I attempted to sing, but my throat was too hoarse.
    to attempt an escape from prison
    A group of 80 budding mountaineers attempted Kilimanjaro, but 30 of them didn't make it to the top.
    • Something attempted, something done, / Has earned a night's repose.
  2. (obsolete) To try to move, by entreaty, by afflictions, or by temptations; to tempt.
    • c. 1604, William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure
      Yet since I see you fearful, that neither my coat, integrity, nor persuasion can with ease attempt you, I will go further than I meant, to pluck all fears out of you.
    • It made the laughter of an afternoon / That Vivien should attempt the blameless king.
  3. (archaic) To try to win, subdue, or overcome.
    one who attempts the virtue of a woman
    • c. 1596–1598, William Shakespeare, “The Merchant of Venice”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act IV, scene i]:
      Dear sir, of force I must attempt you further: / Take some remembrance of us, as a tribute.
  4. (archaic) To attack; to make an effort or attack upon; to try to take by force.
    to attempt the enemy's camp
    • without attempting his adversary's life
Synonyms Translations Noun

attempt (plural attempts)

  1. The action of trying at something. [1530]
    We made an attempt to cross the stream, but didn't manage.
    This poem is much better than the feeble attempt of mine.
    It was worth the attempt.
    No matter how many failed attempts we made, we maintained a positive attitude and tried again and again until we succeeded.
  2. An assault or attack, especially an assassination attempt. [1580]
    • 1584 No man can charge us of any attempt against the realm. (Allen's Defence Of English Catholics, cited after Edinburgh review 1883, p. 378)
Synonyms Translations Translations

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