essay


1es·say

verb \e-ˈsā, ə-ˈsā, ˈe-ˌsā\

: to try to do, perform, or deal with (something)

Full Definition of ESSAY

transitive verb
1
:  to put to a test
2
:  to make an often tentative or experimental effort to perform :  try
es·say·er noun

Examples of ESSAY

  1. There is no hint as to which of the approaches essayed in this book will prove most useful.
  2. <he had been in gymnastics for some time before he even considered essaying that move>

First Known Use of ESSAY

14th century

Related to ESSAY

Synonyms
assay, endeavor, attempt, seek, strive, try
See Synonym Discussion at attempt

Rhymes with ESSAY

abbé, affray, agley, airplay, airway, aisleway, all-day, allay, allée, Angers, Anhui, archway, array, ashtray, assay, astray, Augier, away, aweigh, backstay, ballet, base pay, bat ray, beignet, belay, beltway, benday, beret, betray, bewray, bidet, bikeway, birthday, Biscay, Bizet, blasé, bobstay, Bombay, Bossuet, bouchée, bouclé, boule, bouquet, Bourget, bourrée, breezeway, Bouvet, Broadway, buffet, byplay, byway, cachet, café, cahier, Cambay, Cathay, causeway, chaîné, chalet, chambray, chassé, child's play, ciré, cliché, congé, convey, co-pay, Corday, corvée, coudé, coupé, crawlway, crochet, croquet, crossway, cube, curé, cy pres, DA, daresay, D-day, death ray, decay, deejay, defray, delay, dengue, dismay, display, distrait, DJ, donnée, doomsday, doorway, dossier, downplay, dragée, driveway, duvet, Earl Grey, embay, épée, estray, Ewe, fair play, fairway, Feuillet, field day, filé, filet, fillet, fireclay, fishway, flambé, flight pay, floodway, flyway, folkway, footway, foray, force play, forebay, foreplay, forestay, formée, forte, fouetté, foul play, Fouquet, four-way, fourchée, foyer, franglais, frappé, freeway, Friday, frieze, fumet, gainsay, Galway, gamay, gangway, gateway, gelée, give way, glacé, godet, gourmet, Green Bay, greenway, guideway, gunplay, hair spray, halfway, hallway, Hannay, harm's way, hatchway, headway, hearsay, Hebei, Hefei, heyday, highway, hold sway, homestay, hooray, horseplay, Hubei, in play, in re, inlay, inveigh, Islay, issei, jackstay, James Bay, jennet, jeté, Jetway, Jolliet, keyway, Kobe, koine, kouprey, lamé, laneway, lay day, leeway, lifeway, Lomé, Lord's day, lwei, lycée, M-day, maguey, mainstay, make hay, Malay, malgré, man-day, Mande, Manet, manqué, margay, massé, match play, maté, May Day, Medway, melee, meze, midday, midway, Midway, Millay, Millet, mislay, misplay, moiré, Monday, Monet, Mornay, name day, Niamey, nisei, noonday, Norway, nosegay, obey, OK, olé, ombré, one-way, osprey, Otway, outlay, outré, outstay, outweigh, oyez, PA, parfait, parkway, parlay, parquet, partway, passé, pâté, pathway, pavé, payday, pearl gray, per se, pince-nez, pipe clay, piqué, piquet, pith ray, PK, plié, plissé, pommée, Pompeii, portray, prepay, projet, pulque, puree, purvey, quale, Quesnay, raceway, Rahway, railway, rappee, red bay, relay, repay, replay, risqué, roadway, Roget, role-play, ropeway, rosé, rosebay, Roubaix, roué, routeway, runway, sachet, saint's day, Salé, sansei, sashay, sauté, screenplay, scrub jay, seaway, Shark Bay, shar-pei, shipway, short-day, sick bay, sick day, sick pay, sideway, skyway, slideway, slipway, sluiceway, soigné, soiree, someday, someway, soothsay, soufflé, speedway, spillway, squeeze play, stairway, sternway, stingray, straightway, strathspey, stroke play, subway, Sunday, survey, sweet bay, swordplay, tea tray, tempeh, thoughtway, thruway, Thursday, tideway, today, Tokay, tollway, Torbay, touché, toupee, trackway, tramway, Tuesday, Twelfth Day, two-way, unlay, unsay, valet, V-day, veejay, vide, visé, Vouvray, walkway, waylay, Wednesday, weekday, white way, windway, wood ray, wordplay, workday

2es·say

noun \ˈe-ˌsā; senses 1, 2 & 4 also e-ˈsā\

: a short piece of writing that tells a person's thoughts or opinions about a subject

Full Definition of ESSAY

1
:  trial, test
2
a :  effort, attempt; especially :  an initial tentative effort
b :  the result or product of an attempt
3
a :  an analytic or interpretative literary composition usually dealing with its subject from a limited or personal point of view
b :  something resembling such a composition <a photographic essay>
4
:  a proof of an unaccepted design for a stamp or piece of paper money

Examples of ESSAY

  1. Your assignment is to write a 500-word essay on one of Shakespeare's sonnets.
  2. The book is a collection of his previously unpublished essays on a variety of topics.

Origin of ESSAY

Middle French essai, ultimately from Late Latin exagium act of weighing, from Latin ex- + agere to drive — more at agent
First Known Use: 14th century

essay

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Analytic, interpretative, or critical literary composition, usually dealing with its subject from a limited and often personal point of view. Flexible and versatile, the essay was perfected by Michel de Montaigne, who chose the name essai to emphasize that his compositions were “attempts” to express his thoughts and experiences. The essay has been the vehicle of literary and social criticism for some, while for others it could serve semipolitical, nationalistic, or polemical purposes and could have a detached, playful, earnest, or bitter tone.

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