try / trī/ • v. (tries, tried) 1. [intr.] make an attempt or effort to do something: he tried to regain his breath I started to try and untangle the mystery I decided to try writing fiction none of them tried very hard | [tr.] three times he tried the maneuver and three times he failed. ∎ (try for) attempt to achieve or attain: they decided to try for another baby. ∎ [tr.] use, test, or do (something new or different) in order to see if it is suitable, effective, or pleasant: everyone wanted to know if I'd tried jellied eel these methods are tried and tested. ∎ (try out for) compete or audition in order to join (a team) or be given (a position): she tried out for the team. ∎ [tr.] go to (a place) or attempt to contact (someone), typically in order to obtain something: I've tried the apartment, but the number is busy. ∎ [tr.] push or pull (a door or window) to determine whether it is locked: I tried the doors, but they were locked. ∎ [tr.] make severe demands on (a person or a quality, typically patience): Mary tried everyone's patience to the limit. 2. [tr.] (usu. be tried) subject (someone) to trial: he was arrested and tried for the murder. ∎ investigate and decide (a case or issue) in a formal trial: the most serious criminal cases must be tried by a jury. 3. [tr.] chiefly Brit. smooth (roughly planed wood) with a plane to give an accurately flat surface. 4. [tr.] extract (oil or fat) by heating: some of the fat may be tried out and used. • n. (pl. tries) 1. an effort to accomplish something; an attempt: Mitterand was elected president on his third try. ∎ an act of doing, using, or testing something new or different to see if it is suitable, effective, or pleasant: she agreed that they should give the idea a try. 2. Rugby an act of touching the ball down behind the opposing goal line, scoring points and entitling the scoring side to a goal kick. PHRASES: I, he, etc., will try anything once used to indicate willingness to do or experience something new. try something on for size assess whether something is suitable: he was trying on the role for size. try one's hand at attempt to do (something) for the first time, typically in order to find out if one is good at it: a chance to try your hand at the ancient art of drystone walling. try it on Brit., inf. attempt to deceive or seduce someone: he was trying it on with my wife. ∎ deliberately test someone's patience to see how much one can get away with. try one's lucksee luck. try me used to suggest that one may be willing to do something unexpected or unlikely: “You won't use a gun up here.” “Try me.”PHRASAL VERBS: try something on put on an item of clothing to see if it fits or suits one. try someone/something out test someone or something new or different to assess their suitability or effectiveness: I try out new recipes on my daughter.
A. examine and determine, esp. judicially XIII;
B. separate XIV;
C. test; attempt XIV;
D. (naut.) lie to XVI
(hence trysail XVIII). — OF. trier sift, pick out. of unkn. orig.