Meaning of TRY in English

/ traɪ; NAmE / verb , noun

■ verb ( tries , try·ing , tried , tried )


to make an attempt or effort to do or get sth :

[ v ]

I don't know if I can come but I'll try.

[ v to inf ]

What are you trying to do?

I tried hard not to laugh.

[ vn to inf ]

She tried her best to solve the problem.

[ vn ]

Just try your hardest .

HELP NOTE : 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 .


to use, do or test sth in order to see if it is good, suitable, etc. :

[ vn ]

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.

[ v -ing ]

John isn't here. Try phoning his home number.

HELP NOTE : Notice the difference between try to do sth and try doing sth :

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).


[ vn ] try sb (for sth) | try sth to examine evidence in court and decide whether sb is innocent or guilty :

He was tried for murder.

The case was tried before a jury.


- not for want / lack of trying

- try your hand (at sth)

- try it on (with sb)

- try your luck (at sth)

- try sb's patience

—more at damnedest , level adjective , thing


- try for sth

- try sth on

- try out for sth

- try sb/sth out (on sb)

■ noun ( pl. tries )


[ usually sing. ] try (at sth / at doing sth) an act of trying to do sth

SYN attempt :

I doubt they'll be able to help but it's worth a try (= worth asking them) .

Why don't you have a try at convincing him?

I don't think I'll be any good at tennis, but I'll give it a try .

( informal )

'What's that behind you?' ' Nice try (= at making me turn round) , but you'll have to do better than that!'

( NAmE )

The US negotiators decided to make another try at reaching a settlement.


( in rugby ) an act of scoring points by touching the ground behind your opponents' goal line with the ball :

to score a try



Middle English : from Old French trier sift, of unknown origin. Sense 1 of the noun dates from the early 17th cent.

Oxford Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Оксфордский английский словарь для изучающик язык на продвинутом уровне.