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[trahy] /traɪ/
verb (used with object), tried, trying.
to attempt to do or accomplish:
Try it before you say it's simple.
to test the effect or result of (often followed by out):
to try a new method; to try a recipe out.
to endeavor to evaluate by experiment or experience:
to try a new field; to try a new book.
to test the quality, value, fitness, accuracy, etc., of:
Will you try a spoonful of this and tell me what you think of it?
Law. to examine and determine judicially, as a cause; determine judicially the guilt or innocence of (a person).
to put to a severe test; subject to strain, as of endurance, patience, affliction, or trouble; tax:
to try one's patience.
to attempt to open (a door, window, etc.) in order to find out whether it is locked:
Try all the doors before leaving.
to melt down (fat, blubber, etc.) to obtain the oil; render (usually followed by out).
  1. to determine the truth or right of (a quarrel or question) by test or battle (sometimes followed by out).
  2. to find to be right by test or experience.
verb (used without object), tried, trying.
to make an attempt or effort; strive:
Try to complete the examination.
Nautical. to lie to in heavy weather under just sufficient sail to head into the wind.
noun, plural tries.
an attempt or effort:
to have a try at something.
Rugby. a score of three points earned by advancing the ball to or beyond the opponents' goal line.
Verb phrases
try on, to put on an article of clothing in order to judge its appearance and fit:
You can't really tell how it will look until you try it on.
try out, to use experimentally; test:
to try out a new car.
try out for, to compete for (a position, membership, etc.):
Over a hundred boys came to try out for the football team.
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
Related forms
pretry, verb (used with object), pretried, pretrying.
retry, verb, retried, retrying.
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.
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. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for try out
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But you can try out, and if you stand better than somebody else, you get it and she doesnt.

    Betty Lee, Sophomore David Goodger (
  • I've got ideas about the store which I'd been too lazy to try out.

    The Day Time Stopped Moving Bradner Buckner
  • Cut three thin slices of bacon in shreds crosswise, try out in a frying pan.

    Fifty-Two Sunday Dinners Elizabeth O. Hiller
  • I hastened to ask him a question because I wanted to try out a theory I had.

    The Four Million

    O. Henry
  • They insist that it is going to cost you more to buy new machinery and try out new methods of mining than the gold is worth.

    The Ranch Girls at Home Again Margaret Vandercook
British Dictionary definitions for try out

try out

verb (adverb)
(transitive) to test or put to experimental use: I'm going to try the new car out
(US & Canadian) when intr, usually foll by for. (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
(mainly US & Canadian) a trial or test, as of an athlete or actor


verb tries, trying, tried
when tr, may take an infinitive, sometimes with to replaced by and. to make an effort or attempt: he tried to climb a cliff
(transitive) often foll by out. to sample, test, or give experimental use to (something) in order to determine its quality, worth, etc: try her cheese flan
(transitive) to put strain or stress on: he tries my patience
(transitive; 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)
(transitive) to melt (fat, lard, etc) in order to separate out impurities
(obsolete) (transitive) usually foll by out. to extract (a material) from an ore, mixture, etc, usually by heat; refine
noun (pl) 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
(American football) Also called try for a point. 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
Usage note
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
Word Origin
C13: from Old French trier to sort, sift, of uncertain origin
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
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Word Origin and History for try out



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
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try out in Medicine

Try abbr.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for try out



  1. A prostitute's client or sexual transaction: woman walking the streets for tricks to take to her room (1915+)
  2. A casual homosexual partner; number (1970s+ Homosexuals)
  3. A shift or duty period: She doesn't require any breaks at her eight-hour trick (1669+ Nautical)


  1. To serve a customer: She had tricked a john from Macon (1965+ Prostitutes)
  2. (also trick out) To do the sex act, either hetero- or homosexually; fuck: They can go ''tricking out'' with other gay people (1970s+)

Related Terms

champagne trick, hat trick, lobster shift, turn a trick


Related Terms

keep on trucking

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Related Abbreviations for try out


The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Idioms and Phrases with try out

try out

Undergo a qualifying test, as for an athletic team. For example, I'm trying out for the basketball team. [ Mid-1900s ]
Test or use experimentally, as in They're trying out new diesels, or We're trying out this new margarine. [ Late 1800s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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