Try v. t. [imp. & p. p. tried p. pr. & vb. n. Trying.]
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.]
2. To purify or refine, as metals; to melt out, and procure in a pure state, as oil, tallow, lard, etc.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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·ing, a. Adapted to try, or put to severe trial; severe; afflictive; as, a trying occasion or position.
adj 1: hard to endure; "fell upon trying times"
2: extremely irritating to the nerves; "nerve-racking noise";
"the stressful days before a war"; "a trying day at the
office" [syn: nerve-racking, nerve-wracking, stressful]