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attempt

[uh-tempt] /əˈtɛmpt/
verb (used with object)
1.
to make an effort at; try; undertake; seek:
to attempt an impossible task; to attempt to walk six miles.
2.
Archaic. to attack; move against in a hostile manner:
to attempt a person's life.
3.
Archaic. to tempt.
noun
4.
an effort made to accomplish something:
He made an attempt to swim across the lake.
5.
an attack or assault:
an attempt upon the leader's life.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English < Anglo-French atempter < Latin attemptāre to test, tamper with. See at-, tempt
Related forms
attemptability, noun
attemptable, adjective
attempter, noun
quasi-attempt, verb
reattempt, verb (used with object)
unattemptable, adjective
unattempted, adjective
unattempting, adjective
well-attempted, adjective
Synonyms
1. See try. 4. try, endeavor.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for attempt
  • 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 attempt.
  • The colorful lobby paintings make no attempt at accuracy.
  • When you attempt to retreat to your towel, you find it has blown away.
  • Faculty members and students say government reforms are an attempt to exert more control over higher education.
  • It is unlawful to intentionally snag or attempt to snag any fish in fresh water.
  • The agency did not interpret the findings or make any attempt to identify the source of the pollution.
  • There was little attempt at scientific accuracy in the set.
  • But this was his first attempt to use it throughout the garden in place of wood or other materials.
  • Another attempt at the prize ended in a crash before the airplane was even able to get airborne.
British Dictionary definitions for attempt

attempt

/əˈtɛmpt/
verb (transitive)
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
noun
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
Derived Forms
attemptable, adjective
attempter, noun
Usage note
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)
Word Origin
C14: from Old French attempter, from Latin attemptāre to strive after, from tentāre to try
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for attempt
v.

late 14c., from Old French attempter (14c.), earlier atenter "to try, attempt, test," from Latin attemptare "to try" (cf. Italian attentare, Old Provençal, Portuguese attentar, Spanish atentar), from ad- "to, upon" (see ad-) + temptare "to try" (see tempt). Related: Attempted; attempting.

n.

1530s, from attempt (v.). Meaning "effort to accomplish something by violence" is from 1580s, especially as an assault on someone's life.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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