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attempt n: the crime of having the intent to commit and taking action in an effort to commit a crime that fails or is prevented called also criminal attempt see also impossibility NOTE: There is no settled answer to how close to completing a crime a person must be to be guilty of attempt, but attempt must generally consist of more than preparation.
Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.