essay

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essay (Fr. essai, ‘attempt’) Usually short, non-fictional prose composition, written expressing a personal point of view. The essay form originated with the 16th-century French writer Montaigne. Famous British essayists include Francis Bacon, Henry Fielding, Dr Samuel Johnson, Oliver Goldsmith, Matthew Arnold, Charles Lamb, and William Morris. Noted US essayists include Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Oliver Wendell Holmes, James Thurber, George Santayana, and Dorothy Parker.

essay

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es·say • n. / ˈesā/ 1. a short piece of writing on a particular subject.2. formal an attempt or effort: a misjudged essay. ∎  a trial design of a postage stamp yet to be accepted.• v. / eˈsā/ [tr.] formal attempt or try: essay a smile.

essay

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essay †try, test XV; try to do XVI; attempt, try to accomplish XVII. alt. of ASSAY by assim. to F. essayer :- Rom. *exagiāre weigh, f. late L. exagium weighing, balance, f. exag-, base of L. exigere weigh.
So essay sb. trial, attempt, result of this; form of literary composition. XVI. — (O)F. essai. Hence essayist XVII.