try

verb
\ˈtrī \
tried; trying

Definition of try 

(Entry 1 of 2)

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

2a : 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

c : demonstrate, prove

3a : 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

4a : 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

try

noun
plural tries

Definition of try (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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Synonyms for try

Synonyms: Verb

strain, stretch, tax, test

Synonyms: Noun

assay [archaic], attempt, bash [chiefly British], bid, crack, endeavor, essay, fling, go, offer, pass, shot, stab, trial, whack, whirl

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Choose the Right Synonym for try

Verb

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

Examples of try in a Sentence

Verb

I don't know if I can do it, but I'll try. Keep trying. You can do it. You can do it if you try hard enough. “He said he can beat you.” “I'd like to see him try!” I tried, but I just couldn't do it. “She's not in the office now.” “OK. I'll try again later.” I don't know where she is. Try calling her on her cell phone. He tried a few things to remove the stain, but nothing worked. Did you try restarting the computer? If you want to lose weight, try exercising more.

Noun

was granted another try at the field goal
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Google spent a lot of time and effort trying to convince everyone that Chrome OS isn't just for laptops. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Pixel Slate review: Paying the “Google” premium for Chrome OS," 29 Nov. 2018 The medium tried her best to comfort her only daughter by saying that her weight didn't define her and that, unfortunately, people being negative is part of life. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'Long Island Medium' Theresa Caputo Shares Heartbreaking Update About Her Daughter's Bullying," 30 Oct. 2018 And now, more people are trying this trick, including South Florida stylist Olivia Smalley, who shared a video of her attempt with her nearly 140,000 followers. Marci Robin, Allure, "This Viral Hair-Curling Hack Requires a Blow-Dryer and an Empty Water Bottle," 2 Nov. 2018 Megyn Kelly Today had battled low ratings ever since the show premiered in 2017, and there had frequently been reports NBC was trying to figure out what to do with the show. Megan Friedman, Good Housekeeping, "Here's Everything You Need to Know About Megyn Kelly’s NBC Exit," 26 Oct. 2018 That’s what the tomato people are always trying to tell me. Kevin Dupzyk, Popular Mechanics, "Kimbal Musk Is Reinventing Food One Shipping Container at a Time," 24 Oct. 2018 The original Palm Beach hotel, built in 1976, was where Lefèvre himself learned how to swim, and management is trying to revive the local party atmosphere at the location. Danielle Fox, ELLE Decor, "At the Nhow Marseille Hotel in France, Italian Furniture and Local Grit Lead the Design," 22 Oct. 2018 The conduct is surfacing as Uber has been trying to turn itself around after a tumultuous 2017. Mike Isaac, BostonGlobe.com, "At Uber, new questions arise about executive behavior," 14 July 2018 Eight years after Google first showed its self-driving car to The New York Times, the autonomous vehicle industry is still trying to figure out how to talk about itself. Aarian Marshall, WIRED, "Home From the Honeymoon, the Self-Driving Car Industry Faces Reality," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Which is why some observers say this deal might eventually pass — but maybe not until the second try. Jen Kirby, Vox, "The many unpredictable outcomes of Brexit, explained," 21 Nov. 2018 French tries, but the climactic revelations here inevitably seem too little, too late. Maureen Corrigan, The Seattle Times, "Fans of Tana French are in for a surprise with ‘The Witch Elm’," 23 Oct. 2018 Like so: The motion becomes intuitive after three or four tries, yes. Andrew Moseman, Popular Mechanics, "The 10 Hardest Things To Get Used to on the Tesla Model 3," 10 Oct. 2018 When the other side tries, it is called identity politics. The Economist, "What’s left?To win back power, Democrats must do things that make them uncomfortable," 14 July 2018 After the second try, if the crops are over the legal amount the crop has to be destroyed. Karen Pilarski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Six things you might be asking about hemp," 13 July 2018 Only his weak try was gobbled up by Kasper Schmeichel, preserving the tie and sending the game to a shootout to decide who would advance. Kevin Baxter, latimes.com, "Croatia didn't pay the penalty for misses this time around," 10 July 2018 The one hole on Stewart’s glowing resumé is his failure to capture the Daytona 500 in 17 tries. Edgar Thompson, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Chase Elliott captures the pole at Coke Zero Sugar 400," 7 July 2018 His car, which has a broken coolant system, took a few tries to start. Kathleen Joyce, Fox News, "New York millennial finally leaves his parents' home, but first calls cops on his dad over Legos," 1 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of try

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 3a

Noun

1832, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for try

Verb

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 throw entry 1

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Statistics for try

Last Updated

8 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for try

The first known use of try was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for try

try

verb

English Language Learners Definition of try

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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

English Language Learners Definition of try (Entry 2 of 2)

: 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

verb
\ˈtrī \
tried\ˈtrīd \; trying

Kids Definition of try

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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)

try

noun
plural tries

Kids Definition of try (Entry 2 of 2)

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

Medical Definition of Try 

tryptophan

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tried; trying

Legal Definition of try 

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 lawU.S. Constitution amend. VII in an action tried on the facts without a juryFederal 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

History and Etymology for try

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on try

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for try

Spanish Central: Translation of try

Nglish: Translation of try for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of try for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about try

Comments on try

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