1

try

verb \ ˈtrī \
Updated on: 10 Dec 2017

Definition of try

tried; trying
intransitive verb
: to make an attempt
  • you can do it if you try
transitive verb
1 : to make an attempt at often used with an infinitive
  • try to fix the car
2 a : to put to test or trial
  • try one's luck
often used with out
  • try out a new method
b : to subject to something (such as undue strain or excessive hardship or provocation) that tests the powers of endurance
3 a : to examine or investigate judicially
  • try a case
b (1) : to conduct the trial of
(2) : to participate as counsel in the judicial examination of
4 a : to melt down and procure in a pure state : render
  • try out whale oil from blubber
b obsolete : purify, refine
5 : to fit or finish with accuracy
try one's hand
: to attempt something for the first time

Examples of try in a Sentence

  1. I don't know if I can do it, but I'll try.

  2. Keep trying. You can do it.

  3. You can do it if you try hard enough.

  4. “He said he can beat you.” “I'd like to see him try!”

  5. I tried, but I just couldn't do it.

  6. “She's not in the office now.” “OK. I'll try again later.”

  7. I don't know where she is. Try calling her on her cell phone.

  8. He tried a few things to remove the stain, but nothing worked.

  9. Did you try restarting the computer?

  10. If you want to lose weight, try exercising more.

Recent Examples of try from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'try.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of try

Middle English trien, from Anglo-French trier to select, sort, examine, determine, probably from Late Latin tritare to grind, frequentative of Latin terere to rub — more at 1throw

try Synonyms

Synonym Discussion of try

afflict, try, torment, torture, rack mean to inflict on a person something that is hard to bear. afflict is a general term and applies to the causing of pain or suffering or of acute annoyance, embarrassment, or any distress.
    • ills that afflict the elderly
try suggests imposing something that strains the powers of endurance or of self-control.
    • children often try their parents' patience
torment suggests persecution or the repeated inflicting of suffering or annoyance.
    • a horse tormented by flies
torture adds the implication of causing unbearable pain or suffering.
    • tortured by a sense of guilt
rack stresses straining or wrenching.
    • a body racked by pain
attempt, try, endeavor, essay, strive mean to make an effort to accomplish an end. attempt stresses the initiation or beginning of an effort.
    • will attempt to photograph the rare bird
try is often close to attempt but may stress effort or experiment made in the hope of testing or proving something.
    • tried to determine which was the better procedure
endeavor heightens the implications of exertion and difficulty.
    • endeavored to find crash survivors in the mountains
essay implies difficulty but also suggests tentative trying or experimenting.
    • will essay a dramatic role for the first time
strive implies great exertion against great difficulty and specifically suggests persistent effort.
    • continues to strive for peace

2

try

noun

Definition of try

plural tries
1 : an experimental trial : attempt
  • succeeded on the first try
2 : a play in rugby that is similar to a touchdown in football, scores usually five points, and entitles the scoring side to attempt a placekick at the goal for additional points; also : the score made on a try

Examples of try in a Sentence

  1. was granted another try at the field goal

Recent Examples of try from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'try.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of try

1832

try Synonyms

Synonyms
assay [archaic], bash [chiefly British], bid, crack, endeavor, essay, fling, go, offer, pass, shot, stab, trial, attempt, whack, whirl
Related Words
striving, struggle, throes, undertaking; trial and error

TRY Defined for English Language Learners

try

verb

Definition of try for English Language Learners

  • : to make an effort to do something : to attempt to accomplish or complete something

  • : to do or use (something) in order to see if it works or will be successful

  • : to do or use (something) in order to find out if you like it


try

noun

Definition of try for English Language Learners

  • : an effort or attempt to do something

  • rugby : a play in which points are scored by touching the ground with the ball behind the opponent's goal line


TRY Defined for Kids

1

try

verb \ ˈtrī \

Definition of try for Students

tried \ˈtrīd\; trying
1 : to make an effort or attempt at
  • He tries to remain calm.
  • Try calling her.
2 : to put to a test
  • Have you ever tried artichokes?
  • You might try this key in the lock.
3 : to examine or investigate in a court of law
  • They were tried for murder.
4 : to conduct the trial of
  • An experienced judge will try the case.
5 : to test to the limit
  • The children are trying my patience.
try on
: to put on (a garment) to test the fit
try out
: to compete to fill a part (as on an athletic team or in a play)

2

try

noun

Definition of try for Students

plural tries
: an effort to do something : attempt
  • It took several tries, but I finally scored.

Medical Dictionary

Try

abbreviation

medical Definition of Try

tryptophan

Law Dictionary

try

transitive verb

legal Definition of try

tried; trying
1 : to examine or investigate judicially
  • no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law
  • U.S. Constitution amend. VII
  • in an action tried on the facts without a jury
  • Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 52(a)
2 : to conduct the trial of : put on trial
3 : to participate as lawyer or counsel in the trial of : bring to trial on behalf of a client
  • was unqualified to try death penalty cases

Origin and Etymology of try

Anglo-French trier to choose, sort, ascertain, examine judicially, from Old French, to choose, sort


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