Essay

Definition of Essay

Es`say´
n.1.An effort made, or exertion of body or mind, for the performance of anything; a trial; attempt; as, to make an essay to benefit a friend.
2.(Lit.) A composition treating of any particular subject; - usually shorter and less methodical than a formal, finished treatise; as, an essay on the life and writings of Homer; an essay on fossils, or on commerce.
3.An assay. See Assay, n.
v. t.1.To exert one's power or faculties upon; to make an effort to perform; to attempt; to endeavor; to make experiment or trial of; to try.
[imp. & p. p. Essayed ; p. pr. & vb. n. Essaying.]
What marvel if I thus essay to sing?
- Byron.
Essaying nothing she can not perform.
- Emerson.
A danger lest the young enthusiast . . . should essay the impossible.
- J. C. Shairp.
2.To test the value and purity of (metals); to assay. See Assay.

Related Words

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