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try - definition and synonyms

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verb     try pronunciation in American English
Word Forms
present tense
present participletrying
past tensetried
past participletried
  1. 1
    [intransitive/transitive] to attempt to do something

    Don’t try any of your tricks with me!

    I know she’s not very helpful, but she does try.

    try to do something:

    Just try to stay calm.

    try and do something:

    I will try and get the report to you today.

    try doing something:

    She tried talking about it to Steve, but he wouldn’t listen.

    try your best/hardest (to do something):

    Just try your hardest. I’m sure you’ll be fine.

    try and try (=keep trying):

    Jamie tried and tried and eventually he got a job.

    try hard:

    We’ll just have to try harder next time.

    try hard/desperately to do something:

    He was trying desperately not to laugh.

    1. a.
      [transitive] to attempt to open something such as a door or window, especially in order to see whether it is locked

      I’m sure someone tried the door.

  2. 2
    [transitive] to do something in order to find out what happens, or to find out whether something is good, appropriate, effective, etc.
    try doing something:

    I want to try playing soccer this spring.

    try something on someone:

    The drug isn’t ready to be tried on humans yet.

    try something new/different (with something):

    Let’s try something different with your hair this time.

    try anything once:

    “Would you like to go skydiving?” “I’ll try anything once.”

    1. a.
      if you try a food or drink, you taste it in order to find out whether you like it

      Have you tried these cookies?

  3. 3
    [transitive] to go to a particular place hoping to find someone or something

    I tried the library for his new book.

    1. a.
      to attempt to talk to someone because they might be able to help you or to give you information

      You could try Monica – she knows a lot about gardening.

  4. 4
    [transitive] [usually passive] to judge a person or case in a court of law

    Franklin’s case will be tried on August 25th.

    try someone for something:

    He was tried for murder and found guilty.

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