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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from trying


tryingly adverb

Examples of trying in a Sentence


They have been through some trying times together. He can be very trying at times.

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

That atmosphere was electric! #EmbraceTheChase — Alex Nicholson (@_CoachNicholson) August 31, 2019 For Saulter and Bedford, the victory comes after a trying 2018 season that included a late-season coaching change before his hiring in April. Matt Goul,, "Perry QB Drew Schiano ties OHSAA state touchdown record: Week 1 quick hits," 1 Sep. 2019 Having struggled with her weight during an emotionally trying time, Shannon has now lost 40 pounds and has a new man in her life. Ew Staff,, "What to Watch on Tuesday: The ladies of Orange County welcome a new Housewife, Shannon has a new man," 6 Aug. 2019 Likewise, Straubel’s knowledge of electric vehicles and his almost religious zeal for them helped guide Tesla during its early days and kept the company together during some of its most trying times. Los Angeles Times, "Tesla loses a founder, and a piece of its soul," 26 July 2019 Mornings this past year may have been the most trying hours for them. Andrew Krammer,, "A year after his death, ex-Dolphins coach Tony Sparano’s influence still being felt," 22 July 2019 Kanye is serenading not just his wife, but also the fans who stuck by him during this most trying period. Jon Caramanica, New York Times, "Into the Wild With Kanye West," 25 June 2018 This was, by all accounts, the most trying run of James’ last four years in Cleveland. Ben Ladner,, "Cleveland Cavaliers Offseason Preview: Will LeBron James Stay or Go?," 10 June 2018 Consider this your visual (and virtual) pep rally to get you through the most trying weeks at work. NBC News, "7 pep talks to get you through the work week," 2 Apr. 2018 And no one in its long history rebuilt more than Amedeo Maiuri, a human dynamo, who, as superintendent from 1924 to 1961, directed digs during some of Italy’s most trying times. Chiara Goia, Smithsonian, "The New Treasures of Pompeii," 21 Aug. 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of trying


1718, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about trying

Dictionary Entries near trying



try gun


try it on


try me

Statistics for trying

Last Updated

15 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for trying

The first known use of trying was in 1718

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for trying



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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on trying

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with trying

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for trying

Nglish: Translation of trying for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of trying for Arabic Speakers

Comments on trying

What made you want to look up trying? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


friendly or mild

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!