American Dictionary of the English Language

Dictionary Search


ESSA'Y, verb transitive [Latin sequor. See Seek. The radical sense is to press, drive, urge, strain, strive.]

1. To try; to attempt; to endeavor; to exert one's power or faculties, or to make an effort to perform any thing.

While I this unexampled task essay

2. To make experiment of.

3. To try the value and purity of metals. In this application, the word is now more generally written assay, which see.

ES'SAY, noun A trial; attempt; endeavor; an effort made, or exertion of body or mind, for the performance of any thing. We say, to make an essay

Fruitless our hopes, though pious our essays.

1. In literature, a composition intended to prove or illustrate a particular subject; usually shorter and less methodical and finished than a system; as an essay on the life and writings of Homer; an essay on fossils; an essay on commerce.

2. A trial or experiment; as, this is the first essay

3. Trial or experiment to prove the qualities of a metal.

[In this sense, see Assay.]

4. First taste of any thing.