View synonyms for assay


[ verb a-sey; noun as-ey, a-sey ]

verb (used with object)

  1. to examine or analyze:

    to assay a situation; to assay an event.

  2. Metallurgy. to analyze (an ore, alloy, etc.) in order to determine the quantity of gold, silver, or other metal in it.
  3. Pharmacology. to subject (a drug) to an analysis for the determination of its potency or composition.
  4. to judge the quality of; assess; evaluate:

    to assay someone's efforts.

  5. to try or test; put to trial:

    to assay one's strength; to assay one's debating abilities.

  6. to attempt; try; essay:

    to assay a dance step.

verb (used without object)

  1. to contain, as shown by analysis, a certain proportion of usually precious metal.


  1. Metallurgy. determination of the amount of metal, especially gold or silver, in an ore, alloy, etc.
  2. a substance undergoing analysis or trial.
  3. a detailed report of the findings in assaying a substance.
  4. Archaic. examination; trial; attempt; essay.



  1. to subject (a substance, such as silver or gold) to chemical analysis, as in the determination of the amount of impurity
  2. tr to attempt (something or to do something)
  3. tr; may take a clause as object to test, analyse, or evaluate

    to assay the significance of early childhood experience


    1. an analysis, esp a determination of the amount of metal in an ore or the amounts of impurities in a precious metal
    2. ( as modifier )

      an assay office

  1. a substance undergoing an analysis
  2. a written report on the results of an analysis
  3. a test
  4. archaic.
    an attempt


/ ăsā,ə-sā /

  1. A quantitative determination of the amount of a given substance in a particular sample. Assays are regularly used to determine the purity of precious metals. They can be performed by wet methods or dry methods. In the wet method, the sample is dissolved in a reagent, like an acid, until the purified metal is separated out. In the dry method, the sample is mixed with a flux (a substance such as borax or silica that helps lower the melting temperature) and then the sample is heated to the point where impurities in the metal fuse with the flux, leaving the purified metal as a residue.
  2. A bioassay.

Discover More

Derived Forms

  • asˈsayable, adjective
  • asˈsayer, noun
Discover More

Other Words From

  • as·saya·ble adjective
  • as·sayer noun
  • unas·sayed adjective
  • unas·saying adjective
Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of assay1

1250–1300; Middle English < Middle French; variant of essay
Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of assay1

C14: from Old Northern French assai; see essay
Discover More

Example Sentences

We’ve gone andproliferated dozens of different assays, which in this case is basically more confusing than helpful.

From Fortune

Many of the same issues that bedevil comparing neutralizing antibody assays, apply equally to assays for T-cell responses.

From Fortune

The issue of standardized antiboday assays is further complicated by the fact that different types of assays may be needed.

From Fortune

So far, each vaccine candidate has been tested using a different procedure—known as an assay— conducted in different labs.

From Fortune

Such antibody assays in mid-April indicated that close to one-in-eight people who had been tested in New York State had antibodies to the new coronavirus.

Obama did authorize sending kits for a diagnostic Ebola test called the EZ1 Real-Time RT-PCR Assay.

But the next afternoon, and perhaps the next, we would return to the same cruxes, and often assay the same options.

Twenty baskets of it were obtained by the said miners to assay and investigate its nature, and determine what it might be.

On being fused with twenty-three libras of lead, nothing was obtained from the said assay.

Thence were taken fifteen baskets of gravel and dirt, which has the color of coal, in order to assay it.

Cash looked up from studying the last assay report of the Burro Lode, and his look was not pleasant.

Now would I liefer keep within compass according to my smaller conditions than assay to rival the success 194 of my kinsman Knut.





assault weaponassay cup