Definition for AS-SAY'

AS-SAY', a. [Fr. essai; Sp. ensayo; Port. ensaio; It. saggio, an assay; Fr. essayer, to try; old Fr. essoyer, to endeavor. Kelham's Norm. Dict. It. assaggiare, to try; saggiare, to try, essay; Sp. ensayar, to try; Sw. försökia, to try; Dan. forsöger, to try, examine, endeavor. These words are all from the same root as seek, the radical sense of which is, to follow, to urge, press or strain; Sax. secan, to seek; L. sequor; assequor, to follow, to examine; D. zoeken; G. suchen; Dan. söger; Ir. seichim; It. seguire, Sp. seguir, to follow. Assay and essay are radically one word; but modern usage has appropriated assay to experiments in metallurgy, and essay to intellectual and bodily efforts. Class Sg. See Essay.]

  1. The trial of the goodness, purity, weight, value, &c. of metals or metallic substances. Any operation or experiment for ascertaining the quantity of a precious metal in an ore or mineral. Analysis is a term of more comprehensive import, extending to an examination of the nature and quantities of all parts of the compound. Assaying is called the docimastic art.
  2. In law, an examination of weights and measures by the standard. – Cowel.
  3. Examination; trial; effort; first entrance upon any business; attempt. In these senses, which are found in old authors, now rarely used. [See Essay.]
  4. Value; great purity. [Obs.] – Spenser.

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