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try·​ing ˈtrī-iŋ How to pronounce trying (audio)
: severely straining the powers of endurance
a trying experience
tryingly adverb


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present participle of try entry 1

Example Sentences

Adjective They have been through some trying times together. He can be very trying at times.
Recent Examples on the Web
Lady Glenconner, who was born only six years after Queen Elizabeth, shares the late monarch’s generational and class-based manners and mores, which demanded the performance of reserve and restraint under the most trying of circumstances. Rebecca Mead, The New Yorker, 6 Feb. 2023 The heartache in El Paso and across the Rio Grande in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, is not just an inescapable grief, but a shared and, some say, a shattered portrait of resiliency tested under the most trying of circumstances. Dallas News, 21 Nov. 2020 But what's certain is that the group doesn't plan to slow down despite having experienced their most trying and tragic year yet. Johnny Loftus,, 19 Jan. 2023 The transcript highlights that Milley has worked through one of the most trying terms as chairman of the Joint Chiefs in years, said Peter Feaver, a Duke University professor who studies civil-military relations. Dan Lamothe, Washington Post, 4 Jan. 2023 The overall purpose was to positively unite the school community experience after weeks of online instruction, giving students and teachers a chance to see each other and celebrate the end of a very trying school year. David Buice, Dallas News, 8 Sep. 2022 During the most trying points of 2020, when the idea of crossing a border felt as feasible as walking on the moon, my mind would always escape to Mexico City. Lale Arikoglu, Condé Nast Traveler, 15 June 2022 For many people with eczema, wintertime can be the most trying season. Emilia Benton, SELF, 5 Dec. 2022 West struggled through a trying, public divorce with his wife, Kim Kardashian, while his on-again-off-again beef with Drake had again rekindled. Kenan Draughornestaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 13 Nov. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use


1718, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of trying was in 1718

Dictionary Entries Near trying

Cite this Entry

“Trying.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


: hard to bear or put up with
these are trying times

More from Merriam-Webster on trying

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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