attempt


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last-ditch attempt

A final effort or attempt to solve a problem or avoid failure or defeat, especially after a series of failures or setbacks. The home team is mounting one last-ditch attempt in the final seconds of the game to try to force an overtime showdown. In a last-ditch attempt to avoid a government shutdown, congress has pushed forward a new spending bill.
See also: attempt

a ˌlast-ditch ˈstand/atˈtempt/ˈeffort

a final attempt to avoid defeat: They are making a last-ditch stand to save the company.This is a last-ditch attempt to stop the strike. Ditch in this idiom refers to a long channel built to defend an area against attack.
See also: attempt, effort, stand
References in classic literature ?
But, not to mention that the prejudices of the age rendered such an union almost impossible, the author may, in passing, observe, that he thinks a character of a highly virtuous and lofty stamp, is degraded rather than exalted by an attempt to reward virtue with temporal prosperity.
This being so, thou must remember that I am now labouring under that infirmity which women sometimes suffer from, when the craving seizes them to eat clay, plaster, charcoal, and things even worse, disgusting to look at, much more to eat; so that it will be necessary to have recourse to some artifice to cure me; and this can be easily effected if only thou wilt make a beginning, even though it be in a lukewarm and make-believe fashion, to pay court to Camilla, who will not be so yielding that her virtue will give way at the first attack: with this mere attempt I shall rest satisfied, and thou wilt have done what our friendship binds thee to do, not only in giving me life, but in persuading me not to discard my honour.
Instead of progressing in a sane and dignified manner, my attempts to walk resulted in a variety of hops which took me clear of the ground a couple of feet at each step and landed me sprawling upon my face or back at the end of each second or third hop.
They again hid themselves in the wood, and waited till the disturbance, whatever it might be, ceased, holding themselves ready to resume their attempt without delay.
asked Dantes with much surprise; "do you think yourself more guilty in making the attempt since you have encountered me?
But the attempt was so perilous in the place where we then lay, that I supposed myself the only individual on board the ship who was sufficiently reckless to think of it.
The idea of retracing his steps was intolerable, and, notwithstanding all the discouraging accounts of the ruggedness of the mountains lower down the river, he would have been disposed to attempt them, but the depth of the snow with which they were covered deterred him; having already experienced the impossibility of forcing his way against such an impediment.
Woola was quickly made to understand our desires, so that it was unnecessary to attempt to keep in sight of the animal whose swift flight over the rough ground soon put him beyond our vision.
Rapidly he moved his hands and feet in an attempt to scramble upward, and, possibly more by chance than design, he fell into the stroke that a dog uses when swimming, so that within a few seconds his nose was above water and he found that he could keep it there by continuing his strokes, and also make progress through the water.
The Russian army, only half the strength of the French, does not make a single attempt to attack for a whole month.
With her giant protector by her side Thuvia set forth to find the passage through the cliffs, that she might attempt the seemingly impossible feat of reaching far-distant Ptarth across the more than seventeen thousand haads of savage Barsoom.
For a moment the bull stood bellowing and quivering with pain and rage, its cloven hoofs widespread, its tail lashing viciously from side to side, and then, in a mad orgy of bucking it went careening about the arena in frenzied attempt to unseat its rending rider.
The thought having taken form persisted, but always it was more than outweighed by the fact that the black sergeant was actually afraid of his woman, so much afraid of her in fact that he would not have dared to attempt to put her out of the way unless he could do so secretly while she slept.
These manoeuvres Tarzan knew would continue until the blacks had worked themselves into a state of hysterical courage sufficient to sustain them for a short charge toward the village, and even though he doubted that they would reach it at the first attempt, he believed that at the second or the third they would swarm through the gateway, when the outcome could not be aught than the extermination of Tarzan's bold, but unarmed and undisciplined, defenders.
The outcome of it was that von Horn finally decided to make an attempt to follow the trail of the creature that the woman had seen, and with this plan in view persuaded Muda Saffir to arrange with the chief of the long-house at which they then were to furnish him with trackers and an escort of warriors, promising them some splendid heads should they be successful in overhauling Bulan and his pack.