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.
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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
They did not find signs that the university had attempted to cover up the
  accusations, both newspapers reported.
Both unions attempted to distance themselves from the violence.
At a session later in the day, speakers attempted to define the qualities of a
  truly global university.
The committee's report also says the coaches attempted to mislead investigators.
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