Definition of assay in English:

assay

Line breaks: assay
Pronunciation: /əˈseɪ
 
, ˈaseɪ/

noun

[mass noun]
1The testing of a metal or ore to determine its ingredients and quality: submission of plate for assay
1.1 [count noun] A procedure for measuring the biochemical or immunological activity of a sample: each assay was performed in duplicate
More example sentences
  • None of the antigenic assays can measure the functional activity of the protein.
  • All cholesterol assays measure the total cell cholesterol, so it is not possible to distinguish between plasma membrane cholesterol and intracellular cholesterol.
  • This warns against inadvertent overestimation due to the original sampling procedure in experimental assays.

verb

[with object] Back to top  
1Determine the content or quality of (a metal or ore): the man who assayed gold was more than a technician
More example sentences
  • Some of the copper ore was assayed in England leading to the formation of a London mining association made up of ten members, each promising to invest $2,000 for further prospecting on the property.
  • The bank is to set up a separate unit, SBI Gold and Precious Metals, to assay the gold and jewellery brought in as deposits.
  • Captain Lewis now planned to build a furnace for the purpose of assaying the ore.
1.1Determine the biochemical or immunological activity of (a sample): cell contents were assayed for enzyme activity
More example sentences
  • Solubilized samples were assayed for total protein content using the EZQ Protein Quantitation Kit (Molecular Probes, Eugene, OR).
  • The samples were assayed for CHH by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
  • Nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide were chemically assayed as nitrite from sorbent tubes by using spectrophotometry.
1.2Examine (something) in order to assess its nature: stepping inside, I quickly assayed the clientele
More example sentences
  • We assay variation in a natural population to assess whether microsatellite markers can be informative for future studies in this species.
  • Transcription rates were assayed using nuclear run-on analyses as previously described.
  • On those rare occasions when he assays an argument, it's indisputable that nothing will ever rescue him from mediocrity.
Synonyms
evaluate, assess, analyse, examine, test, check, inspect, appraise, investigate, scrutinize, probe
2 archaic Attempt: I assayed a little joke of mine on him
More example sentences
  • Point made, he assays a few kicks in the air and brings it home: ‘Turn it up now!’

Origin

Middle 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' (see essay).

Derivatives

assayer

noun
More example sentences
  • Specimens of the metal were sent to expert assayers for analysis.
  • This tribe was far too complex for modern assayers.
  • After studying chemistry at University College, London, and working as an assayer in Australia, he returned to University College in 1859 to study political economy, philosophy, and mathematics.

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