(1) The act of attacking
"Attacks on women increased last year"
"They made an attempt on his life"
(2) 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"
(3) Enter upon an activity or enterprise
(4) 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"