Try describes putting effort into something, like when you try to draw a horse, or take a sample of something, like when you try a new flavor of ice cream.

Another meaning is of try is to put on trial — a prosecutor might try a defendant for theft. Try can also describe testing the limits of something, like when a bratty kid you are babysitting tries your patience. When you add an ending to try, you need to change the y to an i, as in tried and tries. When you add -ing, however, you keep the y to form trying.

Primary Meanings of try

make an effort or attempt
earnest and conscientious activity intended to do or accomplish something
put to the test, as for its quality, or give experimental use to
put on trial or hear a case and sit as the judge at the trial of
test the limits of
melt (fat or lard) in order to separate out impurities
Full Definitions of try

v make an effort or attempt

“He tried to shake off his fears”
assay, attempt, essay, seek
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pick up the gauntlet, take a dare
be dared to do something and attempt it
fight, struggle
make a strenuous or labored effort
give it a try, have a go
make an attempt at something
search blindly or uncertainly
endeavor, endeavour, strive
attempt by employing effort
give it a try, give it a whirl
adventure, chance, gamble, hazard, risk, run a risk, take a chance, take chances
take a risk in the hope of a favorable outcome
lay on the line, put on the line, risk
expose to a chance of loss or damage
to exert strenuous effort against opposition
drive, labor, labour, push, tug
strive and make an effort to reach a goal
behave awkwardly; have difficulties
be at pains, take pains
try very hard to do something
to strive with determination
go for broke
risk everything in one big effort
luck it, luck through
act by relying on one's luck
adventure, hazard, jeopardize, stake, venture
put at risk
bell the cat
take a risk; perform a daring act
Type of:
act, move
perform an action, or work out or perform (an action)

n earnest and conscientious activity intended to do or accomplish something

“she gave it a good try
attempt, effort, endeavor, endeavour
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(baseball) the batter's attempt to get on base
the supreme effort one can make
the weakest effort or poorest achievement one is capable of
bid, play
an attempt to get something
crack, fling, go, offer, pass, whirl
a usually brief attempt
a tentative attempt
an initial attempt (especially outside your usual areas of competence)
contribution, part, share
the part played by a person in bringing about a result
the attempt to achieve equal rights or status
mug's game
a futile or unprofitable endeavor
power play, squeeze, squeeze play
an aggressive attempt to compel acquiescence by the concentration or manipulation of power
an attempt to acquire or gain something
shot, stab
informal words for any attempt or effort
an attempt to score in a game
nisus, pains, strain, striving
an effortful attempt to attain a goal
battle, struggle
an energetic attempt to achieve something
takeover attempt
an attempt to take control of a corporation
run, test, trial
the act of testing something
test, trial
the act of undergoing testing
basketball shot
throwing the basketball toward the hoop
bear hug
a takeover bid so attractive that the directors of the target company must approve it or risk shareholder protest
proxy fight
a measure used by an acquirer to gain control of a takeover target; acquirer tries to persuade other shareholders that the management of the target should be replaced
the part you are expected to play
any struggle between two skillful opponents (individuals or groups)
scramble, scuffle
an unceremonious and disorganized struggle
a quantitative or qualitative test of a substance (especially an ore or a drug) to determine its components; frequently used to test for the presence or concentration of infectious agents or antibodies etc.
clinical test, clinical trial
a rigorously controlled test of a new drug or a new invasive medical device on human subjects; in the United States it is conducted under the direction of the FDA before being made available for general clinical use
double blind
a test procedure in which the identity of those receiving the intervention is concealed from both the administrators and the subjects until after the test is completed; designed to reduce or eliminate bias in the results
preclinical phase, preclinical test, preclinical trial
a laboratory test of a new drug or a new invasive medical device on animal subjects; conducted to gather evidence justifying a clinical trial
audition, tryout
a test of the suitability of a performer
field trial
a test of young hunting dogs to determine their skill in pointing and retrieving
fitting, try-on, trying on
putting clothes on to see whether they fit
MOT, MOT test, Ministry of Transportation test
a compulsory annual test of older motor vehicles for safety and exhaust fumes
pilot program, pilot project
activity planned as a test or trial
jehad, jihad
a holy struggle or striving by a Muslim for a moral or spiritual or political goal
a fast shot made with a short powerful swing of the hockey stick
an attempt to put the soccer ball into the net by using the head
Snellen test
a test of visual acuity using a Snellen chart
joust, tilt
a combat between two mounted knights tilting against each other with blunted lances
Type of:
any specific behavior

v put to the test, as for its quality, or give experimental use to

“This approach has been tried with good results”
essay, examine, prove, test, try out
control, verify
check or regulate (a scientific experiment) by conducting a parallel experiment or comparing with another standard
circulate or discuss tentatively; test the waters with
test something under the conditions under which it will actually be used
Type of:
evaluate, judge, pass judgment
form a critical opinion of

v put on a garment in order to see whether it fits and looks nice

Try on this sweater to see how it looks”
try on
Type of:
assume, don, get into, put on, wear
put clothing on one's body

v take a sample of

Try these new crackers”
sample, taste, try out
taste with relish
Type of:
consume, have, ingest, take, take in
serve oneself to, or consume regularly

v put on trial or hear a case and sit as the judge at the trial of

“The football star was tried for the murder of his wife”
adjudicate, judge
subject to trial by court-martial
Type of:
decide, determine, make up one's mind
reach, make, or come to a decision about something

v examine or hear (evidence or a case) by judicial process

“The case will be tried in California”
rehear, retry
hear or try a court case anew
Type of:
examine, probe
question or examine thoroughly and closely

v test the limits of

“You are trying my patience!”
strain, stress
stretch to the limits
Type of:
cause great unhappiness for; distress

v give pain or trouble to

“I've been sorely tried by these students”
Type of:
anguish, hurt, pain
cause emotional anguish or make miserable

v melt (fat or lard) in order to separate out impurities

try the yak butter”
Type of:
melt, melt down, run
reduce or cause to be reduced from a solid to a liquid state, usually by heating

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