try

verb
\ ˈtrī How to pronounce try (audio) \
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
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

There's no clear narrative, except maybe narcissism, but that's why Framing John DeLorean, the new biopic from IFC Films, begins with interviews from some of the many producers who've already tried to decode DeLorean. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "The New DeLorean Biopic Is About Way More Than Cars," 1 May 2019 Meanwhile, suppliers face the daunting task of trying to manage the customer risk. Nina Trentmann, WSJ, "Boeing Suppliers Seek to Manage Uncertainty as 737 MAX Remains Grounded," 29 Apr. 2019 While all of them were enamored with the Fold, none of the journalists who tried the Fold were willing to buy one, even with a pair of Galaxy Buds and a kevlar case in the box. Michael Simon, PCWorld, "First looks at the Samsung Galaxy Fold are equal parts awe, surprise, and crease concerns," 15 Apr. 2019 And so the Apple Card charges into the financial world in which cheery, millennial-baiting websites and apps try to displace the gloomy, buttoned-up mortgage lenders and bankers of old with smile and that Silicon Valley sheen. Andrew Moseman, Popular Mechanics, "Apple Is a Credit Card Company Now," 25 Mar. 2019 Broadcaster LBI Media says bondholders trying to block its bankruptcy-exit plan would rather see the company liquidated than come out on the losing end of a financing feud. Peg Brickley, WSJ, "LBI Media Says It Fears Liquidation if Chapter 11 Plan Fails," 25 Mar. 2019 If your air plant is flowering, skip submerging it and try rinsing it instead. Brittney Morgan, House Beautiful, "Everything You Need to Know About Caring for Air Plants," 25 Mar. 2019 However, that does mean the trio will have to spend more time with technology—something Mark has tried to steer them away from by insisting on phone curfews. Megan Stein, Country Living, "'Shark Tank' Star Mark Cuban Claims His Kids Can Make $40 an Hour Using This One Skill," 24 Mar. 2019 There’s an understanding amongst gun owners in New Zealand that politicians aren’t trying to take away all of their guns. Zac Fleming, Harper's BAZAAR, "New Zealand Banned Guns After Thoughts and Prayers. Why Can’t America?," 23 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Well, the 2019 Ram 1500 is the try-hard of full-size trucks, and proud of it. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "The 2019 Popular Mechanics Automotive Excellence Awards," 16 Apr. 2019 Canada is giving it a try, with a pilot program that gives participants up to $17,000 annually for three years — no strings attached. Paul Hannon, WSJ, "Experiment in Finland With Guaranteed Income Creates Less Stress but No Jobs," 8 Feb. 2019 This self-inflating Griswold is a nod to the scene where the Christmas fanatic tries (and fails) to hang holiday lights from his house. Jessica Leigh Mattern, Country Living, "Everyone Is Freaking Out About This Crazy 'Christmas Vacation' Clark Griswold Inflatable," 10 Dec. 2018 Hart did try to re-enter the race later, but his second try didn't last long. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "The True Story of Gary Hart's Presidential Campaign Scandal in The Front Runner," 8 Nov. 2018 Its last try, the Pixel C, was also a detachable meant to be paired with a keyboard cover. Jacob Kastrenakes, The Verge, "Pixel Slate is Google’s new detachable Chrome OS tablet," 9 Oct. 2018 Season two tries to do both, without finding any real balance between them. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "How Big Mouth season 2 turns the horrors of puberty into sweet, nuanced comedy," 5 Oct. 2018 The most striking thing from our try-and-fail-and-try-again session was how carefully IO Interactive has arranged and sequenced each possible path so that cheesing the game with quick, unrealistic tactics simply won't work. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "The 16 surprising new games that made PAX West an absolute blast," 9 Sep. 2018 In that last try, this $300,000 FTF March 2017 purchase stalked in the early going and probably made a premature move before being run down in the lane. Scott Shapiro, The Courier-Journal, "Twinspires.com's free expert pick for Friday at Churchill Downs," 7 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

12 May 2019

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 How to pronounce try (audio) \
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

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