Nearby words

  1. truth-value gap,
  2. truthful,
  3. truthfully,
  4. truthiness,
  5. truths,
  6. try line,
  7. try on,
  8. try one's hand,
  9. try one's patience,
  10. try out

Idioms

    give it the old college try, Informal. to make a sincere effort: I gave it the old college try and finally found an apartment.
    try it/that on, Chiefly British Informal.
    1. to put on airs: She's been trying it on ever since the inheritance came through.
    2. to be forward or presumptuous, especially with a member of the opposite sex: She avoided him after he'd tried it on with her.

Origin of try

1250–1300; Middle English trien to try (a legal case) < Anglo-French trier, Old French: to sift, cull, of uncertain origin

SYNONYMS FOR try
1, 10. Try, attempt, endeavor, strive all mean to put forth an effort toward a specific end. Try is the most often used and most general term: to try to decipher a message; to try hard to succeed. Attempt, often interchangeable with try, sometimes suggests the possibility of failure and is often used in reference to more serious or important matters: to attempt to formulate a new theory of motion. Endeavor emphasizes serious and continued exertion of effort, sometimes aimed at dutiful or socially appropriate behavior: to endeavor to fulfill one's obligations. Strive, stresses persistent, vigorous, even strenuous effort, often in the face of obstacles: to strive to overcome a handicap.

Related formspre·try, verb (used with object), pre·tried, pre·try·ing.re·try, verb, re·tried, re·try·ing.

Usage note

10. Try followed by and instead of to has been in standard use since the 17th century: The Justice Department has decided to try and regulate jury-selection practices. The construction occurs only with the base form try, not with tries or tried or trying. Although some believe that try and is less formal than try to, both patterns occur in all types of speech and writing.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


British Dictionary definitions for try out

try out

verb (adverb)

(tr) to test or put to experimental useI'm going to try the new car out
(when intr, usually foll by for) US and Canadian (of an athlete, actor, etc) to undergo a test or to submit (an athlete, actor, etc) to a test to determine suitability for a place in a team, an acting role, etc

noun tryout

mainly US and Canadian a trial or test, as of an athlete or actor

try

verb tries, trying or tried

(when tr, may take an infinitive, sometimes with to replaced by and) to make an effort or attempthe tried to climb a cliff
(tr often foll by out) to sample, test, or give experimental use to (something) in order to determine its quality, worth, etctry her cheese flan
(tr) to put strain or stress onhe tries my patience
(tr; often passive) to give pain, affliction, or vexation to: I have been sorely tried by those children
  1. to examine and determine the issues involved in (a cause) in a court of law
  2. to hear evidence in order to determine the guilt or innocence of (an accused)
  3. to sit as judge at the trial of (an issue or person)
(tr) to melt (fat, lard, etc) in order to separate out impurities
(tr usually foll by out) obsolete to extract (a material) from an ore, mixture, etc, usually by heat; refine

noun plural tries

an experiment or trial
an attempt or effort
rugby the act of an attacking player touching the ball down behind the opposing team's goal line, scoring five or, in Rugby League, four points
Also called: try for a point American football an attempt made after a touchdown to score an extra point by kicking a goal or, for two extra points, by running the ball or completing a pass across the opponents' goal line
See also try on, try out

Word Origin for try

C13: from Old French trier to sort, sift, of uncertain origin

usage

The use of and instead of to after try is very common, but should be avoided in formal writing: we must try to prevent (not try and prevent) this happening

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for try out

try

v.

c.1300, "examine judiciously, sit in judgment of," from Anglo-French trier (late 13c.), from Old French trier "to pick out, cull" (12c.), from Gallo-Romance *triare, of unknown origin. The ground sense is "separate out (the good) by examination." Meaning "to test" is first recorded mid-14c.; that of "attempt to do" is from early 14c. Sense of "to subject to some strain" (of patience, endurance, etc.) is recorded from 1530s. Trying "distressing" is first attested 1718. To try (something) on for size in the figurative sense is recorded from 1956.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for try out

Try

abbr.

tryptophan

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with try out

try out

1

Undergo a qualifying test, as for an athletic team. For example, I'm trying out for the basketball team. [Mid-1900s]

2

Test or use experimentally, as in They're trying out new diesels, or We're trying out this new margarine. [Late 1800s]

try

In addition to the idioms beginning with try

  • try on
  • try one's hand
  • try one's patience
  • try out

also see:

  • old college try

Also see undertried.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.