Try 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. [1913 Webster]

2. To purify or refine, as metals; to melt out, and procure in a pure state, as oil, tallow, lard, etc. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. --Ps. xii. 6. [1913 Webster]

For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried. --Ps. lxvi. 10. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

Let the end try the man. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

4. To subject to severe trial; to put to the test; to cause suffering or trouble to. [1913 Webster]

Thus far to try thee, Adam, I was pleased. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

These are the times that try men's souls. --Thomas Paine (1776) [PJC]

5. To experiment with; to test by use; as, to try a remedy for disease; to try a horse. [1913 Webster]

Come, try upon yourselves what you have seen me. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

To ease her cares the force of sleep she tries. --Swift. [1913 Webster]

6. To strain; to subject to excessive tests; as, the light tries his eyes; repeated disappointments try one's patience. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

Left I the court, to see this quarrel tried. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

9. To experience; to have or gain knowledge of by experience. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

Or try the Libyan heat or Scythian cold. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

10. To essay; to attempt; to endeavor. [1913 Webster]

Let us try . . . to found a path. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

{To try on}. (a) To put on, as a garment, to ascertain whether it fits the person. (b) To attempt; to undertake. [Slang] --Dickens. [1913 Webster]

Syn: To attempt; endeavor; strive; aim; examine.

Usage: {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. [1913 Webster]

He first deceased: she for a little tried To live without him; liked it not, and died. --Sir H. Wotton. [1913 Webster]

Alack, I am afraid they have a waked, And 't is not done. The attempt, and not the deed, Confounds us. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

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  • trying — adjective 1) a trying day Syn: stressful, taxing, demanding, difficult, tough, hard, pressured, frustrating, fraught; arduous, grueling, tiring, exhausting; informal hellish See note at hard …   Thesaurus of popular words

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