From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishtrytry1 /traɪ/ ●●● S1 W1 verb (past tense and past participle tried, present participle trying) 1 attempt [intransitive, transitive]TRY TO DO OR GET something to take action in order to do something that you may not be able to do Let’s have a rest and then we’ll try again.try to do something He tried to control his voice. She was trying not to cry.try and do something Try and take some form of daily exercise.try hard/desperately (to do something) (=make a lot of effort to do something) She dabbed at her face and tried hard not to sniff. I tried everything to lose weight with no success.try your best/hardest (to do something) (=make as much effort as possible to do something) I tried my best to comfort her. I tried and tried (=kept making an effort) and eventually I was offered a job. Try as he might (=as hard as he could), he could not get the incident out of his mind.it wasn’t for lack/want of trying (=used to say that if someone does not achieve something it is not because they have not tried) They didn’t get any goals, but it wasn’t for lack of trying.you couldn’t do something if you tried (=used to say that someone does not have the skill or ability to do something) She couldn’t speak French if she tried.2 test/use [transitive]TRY something TO SEE IF IT IS GOOD to do or use something for a short while to discover if it is suitable, successful, enjoyable etc It works really well – you should try it.try doing something They decided they would try living in America for a while. Try logging off and logging on again.try something new/different (=do or use something that is different from what you usually do or use) If I’m going out for a meal, I prefer to try something different.try something on somebody/something We tried the machine on hardwood and soft wood.try somebody on something Petra’s trying the baby on solid foods.try something for size (=put on a piece of clothing or test something to find out if it is the correct size or suitable) Always try a sleeping bag for size before you buy it.3 food/drink [transitive]TASTE OF FOOD OR DRINK to taste food or drink to find out if you like it SYN taste Would you like to try some crisps?4 try to find somebody/something [intransitive, transitive]LOOK FOR to go to a place or person, or call them, in order to find something or someone Sorry, he’s not in. Would you like to try again later? Let’s try Mouncy Street. He could be there.5 door/window [transitive]OPEN to attempt to open a door, window etc in order to see if it is locked She tried the door and it opened. He tried the handle but the door was locked. 6 law [transitive]JUDGE to examine and judge a legal case, or someone who is thought to be guilty of a crime in a court → trialbe tried for something He was tried for attempting to murder his wife. The defence argued that a regional court was not competent to try their case.Grammar Try is often passive in this meaning.7 → try somebody’s patience8 → try your hand at something9 → try your luck10 → try it on (with somebody)GRAMMAR: Comparisontry to do something• If you try to do something, you attempt to do it: We must try to prevent this from happening again.try doing something• If you try doing something, you do it in order to find out if it is enjoyable or produces the result you want: I’ve never tried bungee jumping.Try using margarine instead of butter. COLLOCATIONSadverbshardShe was trying hard not to show her impatience.desperatelyThey try desperately to please other people.unsuccessfully/in vainHe has tried unsuccessfully to quit smoking.try your best/hardest (=make as much effort as possible)Try your best to block out other distractions. THESAURUStry to take action in order to do something that you may not be able to doI tried to explain what was wrong.He tries hard in class, but he’s finding the work difficult.attempt to try to do something, especially something difficult. Attempt is more formal than try and is used especially in written EnglishAny prisoner who attempts to escape will be shot.He was attempting to climb one of the world’s highest mountains.do your best to try as hard as you can to do somethingWe will do our best to help them.make an effort to do something to try to do something, when you find this difficultIt is worth making an effort to master these skills.She made a big effort to be nice to him.struggle to try very hard to do something that is very difficult, especially for a long timeShe’s still struggling to give up smoking.Many of these families are struggling to survive.strive formal to try very hard to achieve somethingThe company must constantly strive for greater efficiency.endeavour British English, endeavor American English /ɪnˈdevə $ -ər/ formal to try hard to do somethingEach employee shall endeavour to provide customers with the best service possible.have a go/try informal to try to do something, especially when you are not sure that you will succeedI’m not very good at fixing taps, but I’ll have a go. Do you want to have another try?see if you can do something spoken to try to do something – used when offering to do something, or suggesting that someone should do somethingI’ll see if I can get you a ticket.See if you can persuade her to come. → try for something → try something ↔ on → try something ↔ out → try out for something→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpustry• Harriet picked up the ball and tried a shot at the basket.• I tried aerobics once, but I didn't really enjoy it.• I'm sorry, but Ms. Bouvier is out of the office. Could you try again later.• Have you tried Alison's carrot cake?• I tried all the keys, but none of them would open the door.• I'll tell some jokes to try and cheer him up.• Sorry I didn't phone you. I did try, but your line was busy.• I was trying hard to concentrate, but my mind kept wandering.• There was no answer at his workplace, so Mandy tried his home number.• "Do you like goat's milk?" "I don't know, I've never tried it."• Running is really good exercise - you should try it.• I think you should try planning your essays in rough before you start writing.• Nadine tried six stores before she found the book Sam wanted.• I knocked, then tried the door. It was open, but the room was empty.• I'll go try the phone upstairs.• I went around the back to try the windows, but they were all locked.• Have you tried those new barbecue-flavoured crisps?• His mother tried threats, bribery -- everything, but Danny still refused to go to school.• A gang of youths threw stones and missiles at officers who were trying to break up the display.• If his Mummy tried to come, she was sent away.• Baseball, though, is a bad place to try to find stability.• I tried to get another job but I had no luck.• I think we stayed for about a week just trying to get more and more of a body count.• Another over-eager cat has discovered one of the basic truths of garden life: never try to kill a toad.• He tried to phone for help.• He tried to read some deeper personal message into it.• He tried to walk past me down the stairs, but I stopped him.try to do something• He tried to avoid it, but after the first blow struck, he went after them like a tiger.• Later, he tried to call the reporter near the holidays, and even wrote a lengthy poem.• Horses do try to communicate with us, and they expect us to understand.• They pulled and heaved under the prodding and loud yelling of the teamster who tried to coordinate them.• Like trying to draw with a broken lead.• She tried to forget about what had happened.• He could try to kiss her, Sandi, on the lips.• If the adventurers try to reach location 14 they will have to pass scores of biting faces and clutching hands.• I tried to tell myself it didn't matter.try doing something• "My plant is dying." "Have you tried putting it in a sunnier room?"tried ... handle• He knocked twice on the office door then tried the handle.• He walked up a crazy-paving path and tried the handle.• Throwing the shovel to the ground he tried the handle again.• She tried the handle and found it was not locked.• Faded gold lettering told him this wasn't the one he was looking for, but he tried the handle anyway.• She tried the handle but the door had obviously been bolted from the inside.be tried for something• Twin Otters were tried for a while, but proved uneconomic on short routes.• Winsford Flash will be tried for bream while large roach often take caster and hemp on the Red Lion and Aerosol.• Violence escalated in 1912 and the Pethick-Lawrences and Mrs Pankhurst were tried for conspiracy.• He was tried for murder, and acquitted.• Armstrong was tried for murder at Hereford Assizes.• The Financial Times of Feb. 12 reported that four senior company officials at the pit were to be tried for negligence.• Charles Becker, a policeman who took bribes, was tried for the crime and electrocuted at Sing Sing.• Abu-Jamal was tried for the crime.trytry2 ●●● S3 noun (plural tries) [countable] 1 TRY TO DO OR GET somethingan attempt to do something She didn’t manage to break the record, but it was a good try. ‘You really think you can do that?’ ‘I’m going to have a try.’ ‘What are the chances for getting tickets now?’ ‘I guess I could give it a try.’ It might sound a ludicrous excuse but he thought it was worth a try.on the first/second etc try Only half the students passed the test on their first try.2 TRY TO DO OR GET somethinga test of something to see if it is suitable or successful or to find out if you like it I decided to give modelling a try. Wines from Apulia’s ancient vineyards are well worth a try.3 DSOfour points won by putting the ball on the ground behind the opponents’ goal line in rugbyCOLLOCATIONSverbshave a tryI decided to have one last try.give it a try informalIf your instinct is telling you to give it a try, then go ahead.be worth a try (=be worth trying to do because you may succeed)It’s worth a try – we’ve nothing to lose. adjectivesa good try‘Do you really think you can win?’ ‘I’m going to have a darn good try.’a nice try (=a good try that is not successful)Nice try, Claudia, but not good enough, I’m afraid.somebody’s first/second tryThis is his first try at directing.
Examples from the Corpustry• If your insomnia is similar to the following examples, you might want to give bright-light therapy a try.• But it is worth a try.• Certainly it was worth a try.• Don't give up yet - have another try.• Beattie put them ahead after two minutes with an opportunist try but Dungait replied for Morpeth.• Centre John Devereux converted, with giant prop Mark Jones then brushing aside two tackles to crash over for the second try.• After several tries, Lou finally reached Sylvia at her office phone number.• Full-back Liley strode into the left-hand corner for a splendid try and there was still a man to spare.• With White converting all the tries, Alton ran out comfortable winners after a terrible start.have a try• Federal authorities have tried to put together a criminal case against Zimmermann ever since.• But area fishermen have tried everything to hook it: worms, corn, artificial lures.• I have tried every which way to get it back down on the bottom.• I have tried to explain that in Claudia's case memory is particularly treacherous, but Letterman likes the idea of ambiguity.• My daughter and son-in-law have tried to have their baby son christened in a local church.• I might have tried a few quick manoeuvres to lose those shadows.• Some providers have tried to cope with this flood by sharply limiting the number of newsgroups they carry.• It is not true that they have tried traditional Keynesian fiscal policy and it hasn't worked.• I can't get the lid off this jar. Do you want to have a try?• We had a go at trying to coax the cat indoors using scraps of food.give ... a try• He says he thought he'd give it a try, but he got stuck.• Our family gave it a try on a recent weekend.• I reckon if I had had a flat and everything I could have given it a try.• Amy had never given up trying to get control of her inheritance.• Producing the links Considerable attention is often given to trying to make sense of an incident.• Oh, Scoonie gave other sports a try.• I sure would like to give it a try.• Look, we've given it a try.From Longman Business Dictionarytrytry /traɪ/ verb (past tense and past participle tried) [transitive usually passive] to examine and judge a legal case, or someone who is thought to be guilty of a crime in a courtSavings-and-loan directors are being tried for fraud.→ See Verb tableOrigin try1 (1200-1300) Old French trier “to pick out, sift”, probably from Late Latin tritare “to rub to pieces”, from Latin terere “to rub”