try - definition and synonyms


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present tense
present participletrying
past tensetried
past participletried
  1. 1
    [intransitive/transitive] to attempt to do something

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

    Don’t try any of your tricks with me!

    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 best. I’m sure you’ll be fine.

    try hard:

    We’ll just have to try harder next time.

    try hard/desperately to do something:

    He was trying desperately not to laugh.

    try and try (=keep trying):

    Jamie tried and tried and eventually he got a job.

    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, suitable, effective etc
    try doing something:

    I want to try playing tennis this spring.

    try something on someone:

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

    try something for size (=put on a piece of clothing in order to see whether it fits):

    Try this pair for size – they look about right.

    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 scones?

  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 25th August.

    try someone for something:

    He was tried for murder and found guilty.

See also