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Webster 1913 Edition


Try

Try

,
Verb.
T.
[
imp. & p. p.
tried
;
p. pr. & vb. n.
Trying
.]
[OE.
trien
to select, pick out, F.
trier
to cull, to out, LL.
tritare
to triturate (hence the sense of, to thresh, to separate the grain from the straw, to select), L.
terere
,
tritum
, to rub, bruise, grind, thresh. See
Trite
.]
1.
To divide or separate, as one sort from another; to winnow; to sift; to pick out; – frequently followed by out;
as, to
try
out the wild corn from the good
.
[Obs.]
Sir T. Elyot.
2.
To purify or refine, as metals; to melt out, and procure in a pure state, as oil, tallow, lard, etc.
Shak.
The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver
tried
in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
Ps. xii. 6.
For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast
tried
us, as silver is
tried
.
Ps. lxvi. 10.
3.
To prove by experiment; to apply a test to, for the purpose of determining the quality; to examine; to prove; to test;
as, to
try
weights or measures by a standard; to
try
a man’s opinions
.
Let the end
try
the man.
Shakespeare
4.
To subject to severe trial; to put to the test; to cause suffering or trouble to.
Thus far to
try
thee, Adam, I was pleased.
Milton.
5.
To experiment with; to test by use;
as, to
try
a remedy for disease; to
try
a horse
.
Come,
try
upon yourselves what you have seen me.
Shakespeare
To ease her cares the force of sleep she
tries
.
Swift.
6.
To strain; to subject to excessive tests;
as, the light
tries
his eyes
; repeated disappointments try one's patience.
7.
(Law)
To examine or investigate judicially; to examine by witnesses or other judicial evidence and the principles of law;
as, to
try
a cause, or a criminal
.
8.
To settle; to decide; to determine; specifically, to decide by an appeal to arms;
as, to
try
rival claims by a duel; to
try
conclusions
.
Left I the court, to see this quarrel
tried
.
Shakespeare
9.
To experience; to have or gain knowledge of by experience.
Milton.
Or
try
the Libyan heat or Scythian cold.
Dryden.
10.
To essay; to attempt; to endeavor.
Let us
try
. . . to found a path.
Milton.
To try on
.
(a)
To put on, as a garment, to ascertain whether it fits the person.
(b)
To attempt; to undertake.
[Slang]
Dickens.
Syn. – To attempt; endeavor; strive; aim; examine.
Try
,
Attempt
. To try is the generic, to attempt is the specific, term. When we try, we are usually uncertain as to success; when we attempt, we have always some definite object in view which we seek to accomplish. We may be indifferent as to the result of a trial, but we rarely attempt anything without a desire to succeed.
He first deceased: she for a little
tried

To live without him; liked it not, and died.
Sir H. Wotton.
Alack, I am afraid they have a waked,
And 't is not done. The
attempt
, and not the deed,
Confounds us.
Shakespeare

Try

,
Verb.
I.
1.
To exert strength; to endeavor; to make an effort or an attempt;
as, you must
try
hard if you wish to learn
.
2.
To do; to fare;
as, how do you
try
!
[Prov. Eng.]

Try

,
Noun.
1.
A screen, or sieve, for grain.
[Obs. or Prov. Eng.]
Holland.
2.
Act of trying; attempt; experiment; trial.
This breaking of his has been but a
try
for his friends.
Shakespeare

Try

,
Adj.
[Cf.
Try
,
Verb.
T.
]
Refined; select; excellent; choice.
[Obs.]
“Sugar that is try.”
Chaucer.

Webster 1828 Edition


Try

TRY

,
Verb.
I.
To exert strength; to endeavor; to make an effort; to attempt. Try to learn; try to lift a weight. The horses tried to draw the load. [These phrases give the true sense.]

TRY

,
Verb.
T.
To examine; to make experiment on; to prove by experiment.
Come, try upon yourselves what you have seen me.
1.
To experience; to have knowledge by experience of.
Or try the Libyan heat, or Scythian cold.
2.
To prove by a test; as, to try weights and measures by a standard; to try one's opinions by the divine oracles.
3.
To act upon as a test.
The fire sev'n times tried this.
4.
To examine judicially by witnesses and the principles of law; as causes tried in court.
5.
To essay; to attempt.
Let us try advent'rous work.
6.
To purify; to refine; as silver seven times tried.
7.
To search carefully into. Ps.11.
8.
To use as means; as, to try remedies for a disease.
9.
To strain; as, to try the eyes; the literal sense of the word.
To try tallow, &c. is to melt and separate it from the membranes.
To tryout, to pursue efforts till a decision is obtained.

Definition 2022


try

try

See also: TRY and trý

English

Verb

try (third-person singular simple present tries, present participle trying, simple past and past participle tried)

  1. To attempt; to endeavour. Followed by infinitive.
    I tried to rollerblade, but I couldn’t.
    I'll come to dinner soon. I'm trying to beat this level first.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 22, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      Not unnaturally, Auntie took this communication in bad part. Thus outraged, she showed herself to be a bold as well as a furious virago. Next day she found her way to their lodgings and tried to recover her ward by the hair of the head.
    • 2014 June 21, Magician’s brain”, in The Economist, volume 411, number 8892:
      [Isaac Newton] was obsessed with alchemy. He spent hours copying alchemical recipes and trying to replicate them in his laboratory. He believed that the Bible contained numerological codes.
  2. (obsolete) To divide; to separate.
    1. To separate (precious metal etc.) from the ore by melting; to purify, refine.
    2. (one sort from another) To winnow; to sift; to pick out; frequently followed by out.
      to try out the wild corn from the good
      (Can we find and add a quotation of Sir T. Elyot to this entry?)
    3. (nautical) To extract oil from blubber or fat; to melt down blubber to obtain oil
    4. To extract wax from a honeycomb
  3. To test, to work out.
    1. To make an experiment. Usually followed by a present participle.
      I tried mixing more white paint to get a lighter shade.
    2. To put to test.
      I shall try my skills on this;  you are trying my patience
      • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 4, in The Celebrity:
        The Celebrity, by arts unknown, induced Mrs. Judge Short and two other ladies to call at Mohair on an afternoon when Mr. Cooke was trying a trotter on the track. The three returned wondering and charmed with Mrs. Cooke; they were sure she had had no hand in the furnishing of that atrocious house.
      • 1922, E. F. Benson, Miss Mapp, p. 89:
        “So mousie shall only find tins on the floor now,” thought Miss Mapp. “Mousie shall try his teeth on tins.”
      • 2013 May-June, David Van Tassel, Lee DeHaan, Wild Plants to the Rescue”, in American Scientist, volume 101, number 3:
        Plant breeding is always a numbers game. [] The wild species we use are rich in genetic variation, and individual plants are highly heterozygous and do not breed true. In addition, we are looking for rare alleles, so the more plants we try, the better.
    3. To taste, sample, etc.
      Try this—you’ll love it.
    4. To prove by experiment; to apply a test to, for the purpose of determining the quality; to examine; to prove; to test.
      to try weights or measures by a standard; to try a person's opinions
    5. To put on trial.
      He was tried and executed.
  4. To experiment, to strive.
    1. To have or gain knowledge of by experience.
      • John Dryden (1631-1700)
        Try the Libyan heat or Scythian cold.
      (Can we find and add a quotation of Milton to this entry?)
    2. To work on something.
      You are trying too hard.
    3. (obsolete) To do; to fare.
      How do you try! (i.e., how do you do?)
    4. To settle; to decide; to determine; specifically, to decide by an appeal to arms.
      to try rival claims by a duel; to try conclusions
  5. (nautical) To lie to in heavy weather under just sufficient sail to head into the wind.
  6. To strain; to subject to excessive tests.
    The light tries his eyes.
    Repeated failures try one's patience.
  7. (slang, chiefly African American Vernacular, used with another verb) To want
    I am really not trying to hear you talk about my mama like that.
Usage notes
  • (to attempt): This is a catenative verb that takes the to infinitive. In the future tense, it can take and instead of to.
    I'm going to try and distract him.
  • (to make an experiment): This is a catenative verb that takes the gerund (-ing).
  • See Appendix:English catenative verbs
Synonyms
Derived terms
Related terms
Translations

Noun

try (plural tries)

  1. An attempt.
    I gave unicycling a try but I couldn’t do it.
  2. An act of tasting or sampling.
    I gave sushi a try but I didn’t like it.
  3. (rugby) A score in rugby, analogous to a touchdown in American football.
    Today I scored my first try.
    • 2011 October 1, Tom Fordyce, “Rugby World Cup 2011: England 16-12 Scotland”, in BBC Sport:
      But two penalties and a drop-goal from Jonny Wilkinson, despite a host of other wayward attempts, plus a late try from Chris Ashton were enough to send a misfiring England through.
  4. (Britain, dialect, obsolete) A screen, or sieve, for grain.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Holland to this entry?)
  5. (American football) a field goal or extra point
Synonyms
Derived terms
Translations

Etymology 2

Probably from Old French trié.

Adjective

try (comparative more try, superlative most try)

  1. (obsolete) Fine, excellent.
    • 1596, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, V.2:
      But he her suppliant hands, those hands of gold, / And eke her feete, those feete of silver trye, […] Chopt off […].

Statistics

Most common English words before 1923: standing · books · knows · #622: try · loved · deal · distance

Anagrams


Portuguese

Noun

try m (plural tries)

  1. try (a score in rugby)
  2. (programming) try (block of code that may trigger exceptions)

Synonyms