es·say /ɛˈse, əˈse, ˈɛˌse/
Es·say n.; pl. Essays
1. An effort made, or exertion of body or mind, for the performance of anything; a trial; attempt; as, to make an essay to benefit a friend. “The essay at organization.”
2. Lit. A composition treating of any particular subject; -- usually shorter and less methodical than a formal, finished treatise; as, an essay on the life and writings of Homer; an essay on fossils, or on commerce.
3. An assay. See Assay, n. [Obs.]
Syn: -- Attempt; trial; endeavor; effort; tract; treatise; dissertation; disquisition.
Es·say v. t. [imp. & p. p. Essayed p. pr. & vb. n. Essaying.]
1. To exert one's power or faculties upon; to make an effort to perform; to attempt; to endeavor; to make experiment or trial of; to try.
What marvel if I thus essay to sing? --Byron.
Essaying nothing she can not perform. --Emerson.
A danger lest the young enthusiast . . . should essay the impossible. --J. C. Shairp.
2. To test the value and purity of (metals); to assay. See Assay. [Obs.]
n 1: an analytic or interpretive literary composition
2: a tentative attempt
v 1: 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" [syn: try, seek, attempt, assay]
2: put to the test, as for its quality, or give experimental
use to; "This approach has been tried with good results";
"Test this recipe" [syn: test, prove, try, try out,