verb (used with object)
to make an effort at; try; undertake; seek: to attempt an impossible task; to attempt to walk six miles.
Archaic. to attack; move against in a hostile manner: to attempt a person's life.
Archaic. to tempt.
an effort made to accomplish something: He made an attempt to swim across the lake.
an attack or assault: an attempt upon the leader's life.

1350–1400; Middle English < Anglo-French atempter < Latin attemptāre to test, tamper with. See at-, tempt

attemptability, noun
attemptable, adjective
attempter, noun
quasi-attempt, verb
reattempt, verb (used with object)
unattemptable, adjective
unattempted, adjective
unattempting, adjective
well-attempted, adjective

1. See try. 4. try, endeavor. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To attempt
World English Dictionary
attempt (əˈtɛmpt)
1.  to make an effort (to do something) or to achieve (something); try
2.  to try to surmount (an obstacle)
3.  to try to climb: they will attempt the north wall of the Eiger
4.  archaic to attack
5.  archaic to tempt
6.  an endeavour to achieve something; effort
7.  a result of an attempt or endeavour
8.  an attack, esp with the intention to kill: an attempt on his life
[C14: from Old French attempter, from Latin attemptāre to strive after, from tentāre to try]
usage  Attempt should not be used in the passive when followed by an infinitive: attempts were made to find a solution (not a solution was attempted to be found)

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

early 15c., from O.Fr. attempter (14c.), earlier atenter "to try, attempt, test," from L. attemptare "to try" (cf. It. attentare, Port. attentar, Sp. atentar), from ad- "to, upon" + temptare "to try" (see tempt). The noun is first recorded 1530s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
My attempt at humor had a small audience: fellow grad students in the
  rhetoric-and-composition program.
As long as you can do a jumping jack, you can participate in this record
The colorful lobby paintings make no attempt at accuracy.
When you attempt to retreat to your towel, you find it has blown away.
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