try·​ing | \ ˈtrī-iŋ How to pronounce trying (audio) \

Definition of trying

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: severely straining the powers of endurance a trying experience


Definition of trying (Entry 2 of 2)

present participle of try entry 1

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Other Words from trying


tryingly adverb

Examples of trying in a Sentence

Adjective They have been through some trying times together. He can be very trying at times.
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Phillips has endured even more trying times at Halas Hall when the team’s struggles have run deeper. Brad Biggs,, "Chicago Bears Q&A: If this team is a QB away from contending, why not sell out in the 2021 draft to get one? And which Bears players have a realistic shot at the Pro Bowl?," 25 Nov. 2020 Even the snow lover might embrace this prediction of less trying times ahead. Kirby Adams, The Courier-Journal, "Will it be snowy this winter? We looked for signs in nature to predict the weather ahead," 11 Nov. 2020 And by continuing to care about staff, even during the most trying of times, Monaghan’s company has earned the No. 3 among midsize companies in the Detroit Free Press Top Workplaces competition. Scott Talley, Detroit Free Press, "Senior care company stepped up for employees in very caring ways," 8 Nov. 2020 Now, 80 years later, the 1940 squad should be recognized for their perseverance during a trying and tragic season. Jeff Suess, The Enquirer, "Reds’ 1940 team overshadowed among champions," 20 Oct. 2020 As times continue to be even more trying, generations all around the world are experiencing a collective trauma as a result of the direct and indirect effects of COVID-19. Deepika Chopra, NBC News, "6 ways to strengthen your optimism muscle during uncertain times," 8 Oct. 2020 Determining a champion isn’t nearly as important as providing fans games to give them some normalcy in what can be considered one of the most trying and difficult times this country has seen in quite some time. Duane Rankin, The Arizona Republic, "Opinion: After most challenging season ever, NBA finally will crown champion in Heat-Lakers finals," 30 Sep. 2020 One game in 2017 when Booker and the Suns (and a completely different roster and coaching staff) desperately needed something to feel good about in the midst of a very trying season. Jeremy Cluff, The Arizona Republic, "Phoenix Suns' Devin Booker slammed by radio host for being 'all about the stats'," 14 Aug. 2020 Showing support during one of the potentially most trying times of this person’s life can offer an opportunity for your relationship to grow stronger than before the passing happened. Karla Walsh, Better Homes & Gardens, "How to Write a Better Condolence Card, According to a Psychologist," 7 July 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'trying.' 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 trying


1718, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for trying

Time Traveler

The first known use of trying was in 1718

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Statistics for trying

Last Updated

3 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Trying.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Dec. 2020.

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More Definitions for trying


How to pronounce trying (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of trying

: difficult to deal with


try·​ing | \ ˈtrī-iŋ \

Kids Definition of trying

: hard to bear or put up with

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Comments on trying

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