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tr.v. at·tempt·ed, at·tempt·ing, at·tempts
1. To try to perform, make, or achieve: attempted to read the novel in one sitting; attempted a difficult dive.
2. Archaic To tempt.
3. Archaic To try to seize or get control of by attacking.
1. An effort or a try.
2. An attack; an assault: an attempt on someone's life.

[Middle English attempten, from Old French attempter, from Latin attemptāre : ad-, ad- + temptāre, to test.]

at·tempt′a·ble adj.
at·tempt′er n.


vb (tr)
1. to make an effort (to do something) or to achieve (something); try
2. to try to surmount (an obstacle)
3. (Mountaineering) 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]
atˈtemptable adj
atˈtempter n
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)



1. to make an effort at; try; undertake: to attempt a difficult task.
2. Archaic. to attack; move against in a hostile manner: to attempt a person's life.
3. Archaic. to tempt.
4. an effort made to accomplish something.
5. an attack or assault: an attempt on a person's life.
[1350–1400; Middle English < Anglo-French atempter < Latin attemptāre to test, tamper with. See at-, tempt]
at•tempt′a•ble, adj.



Both these words can be verbs or nouns. The other forms of try are tries, trying, tried.

1. 'try' used as a verb

If you try to do something, you make an effort to do it.

My sister tried to cheer me up.
He was trying his best to understand.

You can also try and do something. There is no difference in meaning, but try and do is used in conversation and less formal writing. In formal English, use try to do.

Try and see how many of these questions you can answer.
Please try and help me to cope with this.
We must try and understand.

Be Careful!
You can only use and after the base form of try – that is, when you are using it as an imperative or infinitive, or after a modal. You cannot say, for example, 'I was trying and help her' or 'I was trying and helping her'.

If you try doing something, you do it in order to find out how useful, effective, or enjoyable it is.

He tried changing the subject.
Have you ever tried painting?
2. 'attempt' used as a verb

If you attempt to do something, you try to do it. Attempt is a more formal word than try.

Some of the crowd attempted to break through the police lines.
Rescue workers attempted to cut him from the crashed vehicle.

Be Careful!
You don't say 'The crowd attempted and break through or 'The crowd attempted breaking through'.

3. 'try' and 'attempt' used as nouns

When someone tries to do something, you can refer to what they do as a try or an attempt. Try is normally used only in conversation and less formal writing. In formal English, you usually talk about an attempt.

After a few tries they gave up.
The young birds manage to fly several kilometres at their first attempt.

You say that someone has a try at something or gives something a try.

You've had a good try at it.
'I'll go and see him in the morning.' – 'Yes, give it a try.'

You say that someone makes an attempt to do something.

He made an attempt to call Courtney; she wasn't in.
Two recent reports made an attempt to assess the success of the project.


Past participle: attempted
Gerund: attempting

I attempt
you attempt
he/she/it attempts
we attempt
you attempt
they attempt
I attempted
you attempted
he/she/it attempted
we attempted
you attempted
they attempted
Present Continuous
I am attempting
you are attempting
he/she/it is attempting
we are attempting
you are attempting
they are attempting
Present Perfect
I have attempted
you have attempted
he/she/it has attempted
we have attempted
you have attempted
they have attempted
Past Continuous
I was attempting
you were attempting
he/she/it was attempting
we were attempting
you were attempting
they were attempting
Past Perfect
I had attempted
you had attempted
he/she/it had attempted
we had attempted
you had attempted
they had attempted
I will attempt
you will attempt
he/she/it will attempt
we will attempt
you will attempt
they will attempt
Future Perfect
I will have attempted
you will have attempted
he/she/it will have attempted
we will have attempted
you will have attempted
they will have attempted
Future Continuous
I will be attempting
you will be attempting
he/she/it will be attempting
we will be attempting
you will be attempting
they will be attempting
Present Perfect Continuous
I have been attempting
you have been attempting
he/she/it has been attempting
we have been attempting
you have been attempting
they have been attempting
Future Perfect Continuous
I will have been attempting
you will have been attempting
he/she/it will have been attempting
we will have been attempting
you will have been attempting
they will have been attempting
Past Perfect Continuous
I had been attempting
you had been attempting
he/she/it had been attempting
we had been attempting
you had been attempting
they had been attempting
I would attempt
you would attempt
he/she/it would attempt
we would attempt
you would attempt
they would attempt
Past Conditional
I would have attempted
you would have attempted
he/she/it would have attempted
we would have attempted
you would have attempted
they would have attempted
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.attempt - earnest and conscientious activity intended to do or accomplish somethingattempt - earnest and conscientious activity intended to do or accomplish something; "made an effort to cover all the reading material"; "wished him luck in his endeavor"; "she gave it a good try"
batting - (baseball) the batter's attempt to get on base
best - the supreme effort one can make; "they did their best"
worst - the weakest effort or poorest achievement one is capable of; "it was the worst he had ever done on a test"
activity - any specific behavior; "they avoided all recreational activity"
bid, play - an attempt to get something; "they made a futile play for power"; "he made a bid to gain attention"
fling, go, offer, whirl, crack, pass - a usually brief attempt; "he took a crack at it"; "I gave it a whirl"
essay - a tentative attempt
foray - an initial attempt (especially outside your usual areas of competence); "scientists' forays into politics"
contribution, share, part - the part played by a person in bringing about a result; "I am proud of my contribution in advancing the project"; "they all did their share of the work"
liberation - the attempt to achieve equal rights or status; "she worked for women's liberation"
mug's game - a futile or unprofitable endeavor
power play, squeeze play, squeeze - an aggressive attempt to compel acquiescence by the concentration or manipulation of power; "she laughed at this sexual power play and walked away"
seeking - an attempt to acquire or gain something
stab, shot - informal words for any attempt or effort; "he gave it his best shot"; "he took a stab at forecasting"
shot - an attempt to score in a game
nisus, pains, striving, strain - an effortful attempt to attain a goal
struggle, battle - an energetic attempt to achieve something; "getting through the crowd was a real struggle"; "he fought a battle for recognition"
takeover attempt - an attempt to take control of a corporation
trial, run, test - the act of testing something; "in the experimental trials the amount of carbon was measured separately"; "he called each flip of the coin a new trial"
trial, test - the act of undergoing testing; "he survived the great test of battle"; "candidates must compete in a trial of skill"
2.attempt - the act of attacking; "attacks on women increased last year"; "they made an attempt on his life"
crime, criminal offence, criminal offense, law-breaking, offense, offence - (criminal law) an act punishable by law; usually considered an evil act; "a long record of crimes"
assault - a threatened or attempted physical attack by someone who appears to be able to cause bodily harm if not stopped
Verb1.attempt - make an effort or attemptattempt - make an effort or attempt; "He tried to shake off his fears"; "The infant had essayed a few wobbly steps"; "The police attempted to stop the thief"; "He sought to improve himself"; "She always seeks to do good in the world"
pick up the gauntlet, take a dare - be dared to do something and attempt it
act, move - perform an action, or work out or perform (an action); "think before you act"; "We must move quickly"; "The governor should act on the new energy bill"; "The nanny acted quickly by grabbing the toddler and covering him with a wet towel"
struggle, fight - make a strenuous or labored effort; "She struggled for years to survive without welfare"; "He fought for breath"
have a go, give it a try - make an attempt at something; "I never sat on a horse before but I'll give it a go"
grope - search blindly or uncertainly; "His mind groped to make the connection"
endeavor, endeavour, strive - attempt by employing effort; "we endeavor to make our customers happy"
give it a try, give it a whirl - try; "let's give it a whirl!"
adventure, gamble, run a risk, take a chance, take chances, risk, chance, hazard - take a risk in the hope of a favorable outcome; "When you buy these stocks you are gambling"
lay on the line, put on the line, risk - expose to a chance of loss or damage; "We risked losing a lot of money in this venture"; "Why risk your life?"; "She laid her job on the line when she told the boss that he was wrong"
2.attempt - enter upon an activity or enterpriseattempt - enter upon an activity or enterprise
initiate, pioneer - take the lead or initiative in; participate in the development of; "This South African surgeon pioneered heart transplants"


1. try, seek, aim, struggle, tackle, take on, experiment, venture, undertake, essay, strive, endeavour, have a go at (informal), make an effort, make an attempt, have a crack at, have a shot at (informal), try your hand at, do your best to, jump through hoops (informal), have a stab at (informal), take the bit between your teeth We attempted to do something like that here.
1. try, go (informal), shot (informal), effort, trial, bid, experiment, crack (informal), venture, undertaking, essay, stab (informal), endeavour a deliberate attempt to destabilize defence
2. attack, assault, strike, offensive an attempt on the life of the Prime Minister


To make an attempt to do or make:
1. A trying to do or make something:
Informal: shot.
Slang: take.
Archaic: assay.
مُحَاوَلةمُحاوَلَههُجوم، مُحاولَةيُحاوِليُحاوِلُ
pokuspokusit sezkusitatentát
forsøgforsøgeforsøge sig påprøveangreb
कोशिशकोशिश करना
reyna, gera tilrauntilræîitilraun
mēģinājumsmēģinātslepkavības mēģinājumsuzbrukums
girişimkalkışmaköldürmeye çalışmateşebbüsteşebbüs etmek
کوششکوشش کرنا
cố gắngsự cố gắng


A. N
1. (= try) → intento m
we'll do it or die in the attemptlo haremos o moriremos en el intento
at the first attempten el primer intento
this is my first attemptes la primera vez que lo intento
after several attempts they gave uptras varios intentos or varias tentativas, se dieron por vencidos
we had to give up the attempttuvimos que renunciar a la empresa
it was a good attemptfue un esfuerzo digno de alabanza
to make an attempt to do sthhacer una tentativa de hacer algo, intentar hacer algo
he made no attempt to helpni siquiera intentó ayudar
he made two attempts at itlo intentó dos veces
to make an attempt on the recordtratar de batir el récord
to make an attempt on the summittratar de llegar a la cumbre
2. (= attack) → atentado m
to make an attempt on sb's lifeatentar contra la vida de algn
1. [+ task] → intentar realizar; [+ exam question] → intentar responder a
to attempt a replyintentar responder, tratar de responder
to attempt a smileintentar sonreír
to attempt suicideintentar suicidarse
2. (= try) to attempt to do sthtratar de or intentar or (esp LAm) procurar hacer algo
the pilot attempted to landel piloto trató de aterrizar


ntentative f
She gave up after several attempts → Elle y a renoncé après plusieurs tentatives.
an attempt to do sth → une tentative de faire qch
to make no attempt to do sth → ne rien faire pour faire qch
He made no attempt to help me → Il n'a rien fait pour m'aider.
an attempt at sth
He made an attempt at humour → Il a essayé de faire de l'humour., Il a essayé de plaisanter.
at the first attempt → du premier coup, à la première tentative
on the first attempt (during)lors de la première tentative
to make an attempt on sb's life → attenter à la vie de qn
vtessayer, tenter
He attempted a smile → Il tenta de sourire.
to attempt to do sth → essayer de faire qch, chercher à faire qch
I attempted to write a song → J'ai essayé d'écrire une chanson.


vtversuchen; smile, conversationden Versuch machen or unternehmen zu; task, jobsich versuchen an (+dat); attempted murderMordversuch m; attempted suicideSelbstmordversuch m
nVersuch m; (on sb’s life) → (Mord)anschlag m (→ on auf +acc); an attempt on Mount Everest/the recordein Versuch, Mount Everest zu bezwingen/den Rekord zu brechen; an attempt at a joke/at doing somethingein Versuch, einen Witz zu machen/etw zu tun; to make an attempt on somebody’s lifeeinen Anschlag auf jdn or jds Leben verüben; to make an attempt at doing something or to do somethingversuchen, etw zu tun; he made no attempt to help user unternahm keinen Versuch, uns zu helfen; at the first attemptauf Anhieb, beim ersten Versuch; in the attemptdabei


1. n (try) → tentativo
he made no attempt to help → non ha (neanche) tentato or cercato di aiutare
to make an attempt on sb's life → attentare alla vita di qn
2. vt to attempt sth/to do sthtentare qc/di fare qc
he attempted the exam → ha tentato l'esame
attempted murder (Law) → tentato omicidio


(əˈtempt) verb
to try. He attempted to reach the dying man, but did not succeed; He did not attempt the last question in the exam.
1. a try. They failed in their attempt to climb the Everest; She made no attempt to run away.
2. an attack. They made an attempt on his life but he survived.


مُحَاوَلة, يُحاوِلُ pokus, pokusit se forsøg, forsøge Versuch, versuchen απόπειρα, επιχειρώ intentar, intento yrittää, yritys tentative, tenter pokušaj, pokušati tentare, tentativo 試み, 試みる 시도, 시도하다 poging, proberen forsøk, forsøke próba, spróbować tentar, tentativa попытка, пытаться försök, försöka ความพยายาม, พยายาม girişim, kalkışmak cố gắng, sự cố gắng 尝试, 试图


vt. intentar, tratar de obtener algo; hacer un esfuerzo; esforzarse, arriesgarse.
References in classic literature ?
But over-strained eyes caused pen and ink to be laid aside for a bold attempt at poker sketching.
For a long time Louise did not know what would be the outcome of her bold attempt to secure for herself a lover.
He seemed to be trying to pout, but his attempt only brought out dimples in unusual places.
Pontellier, and he made no attempt to conceal either his astonishment or his delight.
It was in this scene of strife and bloodshed that the incidents we shall attempt to relate occurred, during the third year of the war which England and France last waged for the possession of a country that neither was destined to retain.
The same day on which this attempt was made, the Indians divided themselves into different parties, and attacked several forts, which were shortly before this time erected, doing a great deal of mischief.
There was no attempt to conceal the point of junction between Kearney's cabin and the newly-transported saloon from the flat--no architectural illusion of the palpable collusion of the two buildings, which seemed to be telescoped into each other.
These were some of the fantasies which she had long dreamed about; and, aided by these, Uncle Venner's casual attempt at encouragement kindled a strange festal glory in the poor, bare, melancholy chambers of her brain, as if that inner world were suddenly lighted up with gas.
It was a folly, with the materiality of this daily life pressing so intrusively upon me, to attempt to fling myself back into another age, or to insist on creating the semblance of a world out of airy matter, when, at every moment, the impalpable beauty of my soap-bubble was broken by the rude contact of some actual circumstance.
No, no: it was useless to attempt to convey to Mrs.
Projecting from the further angle of the room stands a dark-looking den --the bar-- a rude attempt at a right whale's head.
I do not attempt to deny," said she, "that I think very highly of him--that I greatly esteem, that I like him.