Definition of essay in English:

essay

Line breaks: essay

noun

Pronunciation: /ˈɛseɪ
 
/
  • 2 formal An attempt or effort: a misjudged essay in job preservation
    More example sentences
    • Tourism at its best is an attempt, an essay, and not all essays are trivial.
    Synonyms
    attempt, effort, endeavour, try, venture, trial, experiment, undertaking
    informal crack, go, shot, stab, bash, whack
  • 2.1A trial design of a postage stamp yet to be accepted.
    More example sentences
    • He had a beautiful collection of essays and proofs, obtained largely from the designers and engravers with whom he was intimately acquainted.
    • The Prince Consort essay shown here can be regarded as the forerunner of later Victorian stamps.

verb

Pronunciation: /ɛˈseɪ
 
/
[with object] formal Back to top  

Origin

late 15th century (as a verb in the sense 'test the quality of'): alteration of assay, by association with Old French essayer, based on late Latin exagium 'weighing', from the base of exigere 'ascertain, weigh'; the noun (late 16th century) is from Old French essai 'trial'.

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