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

Ami isn't the only one who's trying to take it easy. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "'Alaskan Bush People' Star Ami Brown Opens Up About Her 'Taxing' Cancer Recovery," 10 Mar. 2019 Anyone who has ever tried and failed to decipher a dense ingredient list on the back of a bottle tends to assume that, if it is meant to be put on your face, the product is likely safe. Ivana Rihter, Vogue, "Are Your Beauty Products Toxic? A New Senate Bill Aims to Tackle Unregulated Ingredients," 9 Mar. 2019 Again, that’s people who are fully trying to get pregnant! Kasandra Brabaw, SELF, "Can You Get Pregnant From Precum?," 7 Mar. 2019 While Pixi Beauty has a wellspring of amazing makeup and skin-care products worth trying, the brand is undoubtedly best known for its iconic Glow Tonic. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "Pixi Beauty Just Dropped an On-the-Glow Stick Version of Its Best-Selling Glow Tonic," 7 Mar. 2019 The provision also will cover a $40 million fine earlier this year from the New York DFS to settle allegations that the bank’s traders tried to manipulate the price of certain foreign currencies. Margot Patrick, WSJ, "Standard Chartered Books $900 Million Provision for Potential Settlements," 21 Feb. 2019 Scientists are trying to better model what happens inside the brain when the skull is hit. Brian Resnick, Vox, "What a lifetime of playing football can do to the human brain," 4 Feb. 2019 Clea and Joanna refer to this as a blackbelt level, do-not-try-this-at-home technique. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "The Home Edit Founders Share Their Top Organizing Tips for 2019," 29 Jan. 2019 Always try to layer in as much beautiful storage space as possible—a gorgeous credenza that can hide files and paperwork, or even beautiful wooden boxes that can house small but necessary items, like paper clips. Liz Cantrell, ELLE Decor, "How to Make Your Office a "Home Away From Home"," 25 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The speaker won’t blow you away, but for a first try at putting Assistant on a display, Google and Lenovo have done an excellent job. Cameron Faulkner, The Verge, "Costco is already selling the brand-new Lenovo Smart Display for $50 off," 26 July 2018 Once back home in Paris, a try at sculpting soon resulted in bronze and enamel jewelry. Vogue, "A French Stylist to Supermodels Turns His Hand to Jewelry Design," 23 July 2018 The lowlight was a try at a running catch on a slicing fly ball hit by Johan Camargo that Thames initially gloved but couldn't corral completely before the ball popped out and plopped onto the top of the wall. Todd Rosiak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brewers 5, Braves 4: A big third inning and a nice start for Freddy Peralta are enough," 6 July 2018 This is the second try at a spending plan for Brown and state lawmakers, who first tried to approve the money without a public vote in 2016. Melanie Mason, latimes.com, "Heading off a ballot fight, California lawmakers approve consumer privacy rules," 28 June 2018 This latest executive order, the administration’s third try at a travel ban, doesn’t just apply to majority-Muslim countries, but also North Korea and Venezuela. Alvin Chang, Vox, "How Trump finally got his travel ban, in a flowchart," 26 June 2018 Shankar had three tries at 7-6 1/2 on Friday but was not able to execute a successful jump. kansascity, "K-State freshman Shankar wins national title in high jump," 8 June 2018 Halfway through the day-long event, more than 78 anglers signed up for a try at the trophies and prizes. Sue Ellen Ross, Post-Tribune, "Anglers brave the chill for a chance at a big catch," 18 May 2018 Encinitas can have another try at winning voter approval for a city-wide housing plan, but if that efforts fails, the city could find itself back in court. Barbara Henry, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Judge gives Encinitas more time to come up with state-mandated housing plan," 30 Apr. 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

17 Mar 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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