Definition of assay noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//əˈseɪ//
; NAmE NAmE//əˈseɪ//
[countable, uncountable] (specialist)
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the testing of metals and chemicals for quality, often to see how pure they are Word OriginMiddle English (in the general sense ‘testing, or a test of, the merit of someone or something’): from Old French assai (noun), assaier (verb), variant of essai ‘trial’, essayer ‘to try’ based on late Latin exagium ‘weighing’, from the base of exigere ‘ascertain, weigh’.

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