English

Definition of try verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    try

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//traɪ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//traɪ//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they try
    BrE BrE//traɪ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//traɪ//
     
    he / she / it tries
    BrE BrE//traɪz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//traɪz//
     
    past simple tried
    BrE BrE//traɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//traɪd//
     
    past participle tried
    BrE BrE//traɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//traɪd//
     
    -ing form trying
    BrE BrE//ˈtraɪɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈtraɪɪŋ//
     
     
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  1. 1  [intransitive, transitive] to make an attempt or effort to do or get something I don't know if I can come but I'll try. try to do something What are you trying to do? I tried hard not to laugh. You haven’t even tried to find it. Don’t try to do it too quickly. try your best/hardest (to do something) She tried her best to solve the problem. Just try your hardest. In spoken English try can be used with and plus another verb, instead of with to and the infinitive:I'll try and get you a new one tomorrow.Try and finish quickly. In this structure, only the form try can be used, not tries, trying or tried. More Like This Verbs usually followed by infinitives afford, agree, appear, arrange, attempt, beg, choose, consent, decide, expect, fail, happen, hesitate, hope, intend, learn, manage, mean, neglect, offer, prepare, pretend, promise, refuse, swear, try, want, wishSee worksheet.
  2. 2  [transitive] to use, do or test something in order to see if it is good, suitable, etc. try something Have you tried this new coffee? It's very good. ‘Would you like to try some raw fish?’ ‘Why not? I'll try anything once!’ Have you ever tried windsurfing? Try these shoes for size—they should fit you. She tried the door, but it was locked. try doing something John isn't here. Try phoning his home number. Notice the difference between try to do something and try doing something:You should try to eat more fruit. means ‘You should make an effort to eat more fruit.’; ‘You should try eating more fruit.’ means ‘You should see if eating more fruit will help you’ (to feel better, for example).
  3. 3[transitive] to examine evidence in court and decide whether somebody is innocent or guilty try somebody (for something) He was tried for murder. try something The case was tried before a jury.
  4. Word Origin Middle English: from Old French trier ‘sift’, of unknown origin. Sense 1 of the noun dates from the early 17th cent.Extra examples Can you guys at least try and be nice to her? Can’t you do it? Let me try. Do you actively try to get involved in other people’s projects? He wouldn’t hesitate to try and kill them. I clumsily tried to make amends. I dare you to try and stop her. I decided to try again. I hope you’re not going to try and deny it. I hurriedly tried to unlock the door. I tried my best not to laugh. I was just trying to help! I wondered if he was purposely trying to avoid me. I’m constantly trying to make things better. I’ve given up trying to persuade her. Sam was trying hard not to laugh. She didn’t even bother to try to check on her son. She tried valiantly to smile through her tears. She was trying desperately to stay afloat. We have to continue to try to learn more about this. a treason charge for allegedly trying to overthrow the government by force ‘Would you like to try some raw fish?’ ‘Why not? I’ll try anything once.’ Don’t try to do it too quickly. Have you tried this new coffee? It’s very good. I don’t know if I can come but I’ll try. I’ll try and get you a new one tomorrow. John isn’t here. Try phoning his home number. Try these shoes for size —they should fit you. You haven’t even tried to find it.Idioms
    do/try your damnedest (to do something)
     
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    to try as hard as you can (to do something) She did her damnedest to get it done on time.
    do/try your level best (to do something)
     
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    to do as much as you can to try to achieve something
    not for want/lack of trying
     
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    used to say that although somebody has not succeeded in something, they have tried very hard They haven't won a game yet, but it isn't for want of trying.
    these things are sent to try us
     
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    (saying) used to say that you should accept an unpleasant situation or event because you cannot change it
    try your hand (at something)
     
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    to do something such as an activity or a sport for the first time
      try it on (with somebody) (British English, informal, disapproving)
       
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    1. 1to behave badly towards somebody or try to get something from them, even though you know this will make them angry Children often try it on with new teachers. See related entries: Anger
    2. 2to try to start a sexual relationship with somebody See related entries: Anger
    try your luck (at something)
     
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    to do something that involves risk or luck, hoping to succeed My grandparents emigrated to Canada to try their luck there.
    try somebody’s patience
     
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    to make somebody feel impatient His stubbornness would try the patience of a saint.
    Phrasal Verbstry for somethingtry somethingontry out somebodytry out for something
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: try