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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 attempts
  • They're willing to make second, third, and fourth attempts.
  • These were real attempts to explain what happened on the basis of people's actions.
  • Males may have an ear for such bleats and time mating attempts accordingly.
  • Several attempts have been made to link the world again through a global language.
  • As a result, previous attempts to use such a system have over-warned pilots, and thus been abandoned.
  • Their attempts to mount any real defense were hopeless.
  • It attempts to merge a business model with creative engineering to solve the widespread problem of water shortages.
  • But attempts to unravel that history have produced many interpretations and arguments.
  • attempts to contact the powers in charge of the contest have been in vain.
  • Consider all the failed attempts humans made to fly by building contraptions with flapping wings.
British Dictionary definitions for attempts

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 attempts

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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