Definition for ES'SAY

ES'SAY, n.

  1. A trial; attempt; endeavor; an effort made, or exertion of body or mind, for the performance of any thing. We say, to make an essay. Fruitless our hopes, though pious our essays. Smith.
  2. In literature, a composition intended to prove or illustrate a particular subject; usually shorter and less methodical and finished than a system; as, an essay on the life and writings of Homer; an essay on fossils; an essay on commerce.
  3. A trial or experiment; as, this is the first essay.
  4. Trial or experiment to prove the qualities of a metal. [In this sense, see Assay.]
  5. First taste of any thing. Dryden.

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