- v. & n.
—v. (-ies, -ied)
1 intr. make an effort with a view to success (often foll. by to + infin.; colloq. foll. by and + infin.: tried to be on time; try and be early; I shall try hard).
Use with and is uncommon in the past tense and in negative contexts (except in imper.).
2 tr. make an effort to achieve (tried my best; had better try something easier).
3 tr. a test (the quality of a thing) by use or experiment. b test the qualities of (a person or thing) (try it before you buy).
4 tr. make severe demands on (a person, quality, etc.) (my patience has been sorely tried).
5 tr. examine the effectiveness or usefulness of for a purpose (try cold water; try the off-licence; have you tried kicking it?).
6 tr. ascertain the state of fastening of (a door, window, etc.).
7 tr. a investigate and decide (a case or issue) judicially. b subject (a person) to trial (will be tried for murder).
8 tr. make an experiment in order to find out (let us try which takes longest).
9 intr. (foll. by for) a apply or compete for. b seek to reach or attain (am going to try for a gold medal).
10 tr. (often foll. by out) a extract (oil) from fat by heating. b treat (fat) in this way.
11 tr. (often foll. by up) smooth (roughly-planed wood) with a plane to give an accurately flat surface.
—n. (pl. -ies)
1 an effort to accomplish something; an attempt (give it a try).
2 Rugby Football the act of touching the ball down behind the opposing goal-line, scoring points and entitling the scoring side to a kick at goal.
3 Amer. Football an attempt to score an extra point in various ways after a touchdown.
Phrases and idioms:
try conclusions with see CONCLUSION. try a fall with contend with. try for size try out or test for suitability. try one's hand see how skilful one is, esp. at the first attempt. trying-plane a plane used in trying (see sense
11 of v.).
try it on colloq.
1 test another's patience.
2 attempt to outwit or deceive another person. try on put on (clothes etc.) to see if they fit or suit the wearer. try-on n. Brit.
1 an act of trying it on.
2 an attempt to fool or deceive.
1 put to the test.
2 test thoroughly. try-out n. an experimental test of efficiency, popularity, etc. try-sail a small strong fore-and-aft sail set on the mainmast or other mast of a sailing-vessel in heavy weather. try-square a carpenter's square, usu. with one wooden and one metal limb.
Etymology: ME, = separate, distinguish, etc., f. OF trier sift, of unkn. orig.
Useful english dictionary. 2012.