Dictionary.net

Definitions of essay

  1. make an effort or attempt; " He tried to shake off his fears"; " The infant had essayed a few wobbly steps"; " The police attempted to stop the thief"; " He sought to improve himself"; " She always seeks to do good in the world"
  2. put to the test, as for its quality, or give experimental use to; " This approach has been tried with good results"; " Test this recipe"
  3. a tentative attempt
  4. an analytic or interpretive literary composition
  5. An effort made, or exertion of body or mind, for the performance of anything; a trial; attempt; as, to make an essay to benefit a friend.
  6. An assay. See Assay, n.
  7. To exert one's power or faculties upon; to make an effort to perform; to attempt; to endeavor; to make experiment or trial of; to try.
  8. To test the value and purity of ( metals); to assay. See Assay.
  9. A composition treating of any particular subject; - usually shorter and less methodical than a formal, finished treatise; as, an essay on the life and writings of Homer; an essay on fossils, or on commerce.
  10. A literary composition on some special subject; an attempt; experiment.
  11. To try or attempt.
  12. Essayed.
  13. Essaying.
  14. A trial: an experiment: a written composition less elaborate than a treatise.
  15. To try: to attempt: to make experiment of:- pr. p. essaying; pa. p. essayed'.
  16. A trial; brief treatise.
  17. To attempt; make trial of.
  18. To try; attempt.
  19. A composition on some special subject.
  20. An endeavor; attempt; effort.
  21. An effort made for the performance of anything; trial; a test; a composition in brief informal treatment of some subject.
  22. To try; to attempt; to make experiment of.
  23. An attempt; an endeavour; an effort; a trial or experiment; a written composition on a practical subject, less formal or extended than a treatise.
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Usage examples for essay

  1. The volume before us contains two parts of Mr. Petrie's essay. – Thomas Davis, Selections from his Prose and Poetry by Thomas Davis Commentator: T. W. Rolleston
  2. Nevertheless, I have not been able to withstand the temptation to essay such short general statement of the main known facts and their fair interpretation as shall enable the general reader to know as men a sixth or more of the human race. – The Negro by W.E.B. Du Bois
  3. The second instruction on the sheet read: " Write an essay in Bengali on the life of the man who has most inspired you." – Autobiography of a YOGI by Paramhansa Yogananda
  4. Should she sacrifice the one honor in this crude essay to maintain the other which she had not lost, to my now opened eyes? – Desert Dust by Edwin L. Sabin
  5. Spenser's force, and sustained poetical power, and singularly musical ear are conspicuous in this first essay of his genius. – Spenser (English Men of Letters Series) by R. W. Church
  6. For a time he settled down to essay- writing; e. – Herbert Spencer by J. Arthur Thomson
  7. What he conceived this spirit to be as expressed in art, we find in the essay on Literature and Science, " fit details strictly combined, in view of a large general result nobly conceived." – Selections from the Prose Works of Matthew Arnold by Matthew Arnold
  8. " He who would essay to fix beauty on canvas," he began, in a rather piercing voice, " should combine two gifts." – The Woman With The Fan by Robert Hichens
  9. 1. To whom does Huxley address the essay? – Autobiography and Selected Essays by Thomas Henry Huxley
  10. Somehow I found and opened it at the first essay. – The Thing from the Lake by Eleanor M. Ingram
  11. As, moreover, it became a leading element in the crisis which was the occasion of Burke's first remarkable essay in the literature of politics, it is as well to go over the facts. – Burke by John Morley
  12. Should my expectations be realized when at Rome, I shall certainly offer you my first essay. – Memoirs of Aaron Burr, Complete by Matthew L. Davis
  13. " I must remember, I see, to speak plain English; I mean you may borrow your essay from a book, or a dozen books, if you like, so that you don't try to make us believe the thoughts are your own. – Tip Lewis and His Lamp by Pansy
  14. And this brings us to the problem which gave birth to the present essay. – The Faith of the Millions (2nd series) by George Tyrrell
  15. This is what happened to me, when I began to write my essay. – The Moscow Census - From "What to do?" by Lyof N. Tolstoi
  16. 172, a reference to " Fothergill's Essay on the Philosophy, Study and Use of Natural History;" and we have been assured that it is our Canadian Fothergill who was its author. – Toronto of Old by Henry Scadding
  17. The two questions had no doubt a share in giving it him, and perhaps also a certain essay of Lord Bacon-" Of Building," namely- which he had been reading before he went to bed. – Gutta-Percha Willie by George MacDonald
  18. In an earlier part of this essay it was pointed out that " freedom" was of social origin and application. – Determinism or Free-Will? by Chapman Cohen
  19. She is sure to read an essay in a white gown. – The Cromptons by Mary J. Holmes
  20. He would not have been astonished to hear that in the eighty years since his essay was written the fame of Boswell's book has continually increased. – Dr. Johnson and His Circle by John Bailey
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