- enPR: trī, IPA: /traɪ/, SAMPA: /traI/
- Rhymes: -aɪ
- To attempt. Followed by infinitive .
- ( obsolete ) To separate ( precious metal etc. ) from the ore by melting; to purify, refine.
- To make an experiment. Usually followed by a present participle .
- To work on something .
- To put to test .
- To taste, sample, etc .
- To put on trial .
- To tire .
- ( nautical ) To lie to in heavy weather under just sufficient sail to head into the wind .
From Middle English trien ( legal term, “to try a case” ), from Anglo-Norman trier ( “to try a case” ), Old French trier ( “to choose, pick out or separate from others, sift, cull” ), of uncertain origin. Believed to be a metathetic variation of Old French tirer ( “to pull out, snatch” ), of Germanic origin, from Gothic * ( tiran, “to tear away, remove” ), from Proto-Germanic *tiranan, *tirōjanan ( “to tear, tear apart” ), from Proto-Germanic *derə- ( “to tear, tear apart” ), see tear; or from an unattested Proto-Romance *triare, of unknown origin .
Replaced native Middle English cunnen ( “to try” ) ( from Old English cunnian ), Middle English fandien ( “to try, prove” ) ( from Old English fandian ), and Middle English costnien ( “to try, tempt, test” ) ( from Old English costnian ) .
try ( plural: tries )
Explanation of try by Wordnet Dictionary
- The football star was tried for the murder of his wife
- The judge tried both father and son in separate trials
- Try v. 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. Shak.
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.
These are the times that try men's souls. Thomas Paine ( 1776 )
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. Shak.
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. Shak.
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. To put on, as a garment, to ascertain whether it fits the person. 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. Shak.
- Try v. 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, n.
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. Shak.
3. In Rugby and Northern Union football, a score ( counting three points ) made by grounding the ball on or behind the opponent's goal line; -- so called because it entitles the side making it to a place kick for a goal ( counting two points more if successful ).
- Try, a. [Cf. Try, v. t.] Refined; select; excellent; choice. [Obs.] “Sugar that is try.” Chaucer.
Definition of try by GCIDE Dictionary