Definition of attempt noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//əˈtempt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//əˈtempt//
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  1. 1  [countable, uncountable] an act of trying to do something, especially something difficult, often with no success I passed my driving test at the first attempt. attempt to do something Two factories were closed in an attempt to cut costs. They made no attempt to escape. attempt at something/at doing something The couple made an unsuccessful attempt at a compromise.
  2. 2  [countable] attempt (on somebody/sb’s life) an act of trying to kill somebody Someone has made an attempt on the President's life. an assassination/murder attempt
  3. 3  [countable] attempt (on something) an effort to do better than something, such as a very good performance in sport his attempt on the world land speed record a world-record attempt Wordfinderadrenaline, adventure, attempt, challenge, enthusiasm, escapade, excitement, explore, kick, thrill
  4. Word Originlate Middle English: from Old French attempter, from Latin attemptare, from ad- ‘to’ + temptare ‘to tempt’.Extra examples He made a feeble attempt at a smile. He succeeded in his attempt to break the world record. I made a half-hearted attempt at cleaning my apartment. I passed my test at/​in the first attempt. In an attempt to ward off criticism, the government has made education a priority. Rescue attempts were stopped because of bad weather. She has made no attempt to contact her mother. She smiled at my feeble attempt at humour/​humor. That’s not bad for a first attempt. The board said it would resist any attempt to take control of the company. Their attempt to break out of prison was foiled. a desperate attempt to find survivors of the accident an attempt by workers to prevent job losses her vain attempt to save her son’s life repeated attempts to break through enemy lines Last night there was a desperate attempt to reach survivors of the accident. Someone has made an attempt on the President’s life. The couple made several attempts at a compromise. The president was shot and wounded in an assassination attempt. The previous attempt on the world record was abandoned last year due to bad weather. They were arrested after a failed coup attempt.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: attempt

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