Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
a. A short literary composition on a single subject, usually presenting the personal view of the author.
b. Something resembling such a composition: a photojournalistic essay.
2. A testing or trial of the value or nature of a thing: an essay of the students' capabilities.
3. An initial attempt or endeavor, especially a tentative attempt.
tr.v. (ĕ-sā′, ĕs′ā′) es·sayed, es·say·ing, es·says
1. To make an attempt at; try.
2. To subject to a test.
[French essai, trial, attempt, from Old French, from essayer, to attempt, from Vulgar Latin *exagiāre, to weigh out, from Late Latin exagium, a weighing : Latin ex-, ex- + Latin agere, to drive; see ag- in Indo-European roots. V., from Middle English assaien, from Old French assaer, assaier, variant of essayer.]
1. (Literary & Literary Critical Terms) a short literary composition dealing with a subject analytically or speculatively
2. an attempt or endeavour; effort
3. a test or trial
4. to attempt or endeavour; try
5. to test or try out
[C15: from Old French essaier to attempt, from essai an attempt, from Late Latin exagium a weighing, from Latin agere to do, compel, influenced by exigere to investigate]
es•say(n. ˈɛs eɪ or, for 3,5, ɛˈseɪ; v. ɛˈseɪ)
1. a short literary composition on a particular theme or subject, usu. in prose and generally analytic, speculative, or interpretative.
2. anything resembling such a composition: a picture essay.
3. an effort to perform or accomplish something; attempt.v.t.
4. to try; attempt.
5. to put to the test; make trial of.
[1475–85; < Middle French essayer, c. Anglo-French assayer to assay< Vulgar Latin *exagiāre, v. derivative of Late Latin exagium a weighing =*exag(ere), for Latin exigere to examine, test]
Past participle: essayed
A prose composition on a particular subject.
Switch to new thesaurus
|Noun||1.||essay - an analytic or interpretive literary composition|
piece of writing, written material, writing - the work of a writer; anything expressed in letters of the alphabet (especially when considered from the point of view of style and effect); "the writing in her novels is excellent"; "that editorial was a fine piece of writing"
paper, theme, report, composition - an essay (especially one written as an assignment); "he got an A on his composition"
disquisition - an elaborate analytical or explanatory essay or discussion
memoir - an essay on a scientific or scholarly topic
thanatopsis - an essay expressing a view on the subject of death
|2.||essay - a tentative attempt|
|Verb||1.||essay - make an effort or attempt; "He tried to shake off his fears"; "The infant had essayed a few wobbly steps"; "The police attempted to stop the thief"; "He sought to improve himself"; "She always seeks to do good in the world"|
act, move - perform an action, or work out or perform (an action); "think before you act"; "We must move quickly"; "The governor should act on the new energy bill"; "The nanny acted quickly by grabbing the toddler and covering him with a wet towel"
struggle, fight - make a strenuous or labored effort; "She struggled for years to survive without welfare"; "He fought for breath"
have a go, give it a try - make an attempt at something; "I never sat on a horse before but I'll give it a go"
grope - search blindly or uncertainly; "His mind groped to make the connection"
endeavor, endeavour, strive - attempt by employing effort; "we endeavor to make our customers happy"
adventure, gamble, run a risk, take a chance, take chances, risk, chance, hazard - take a risk in the hope of a favorable outcome; "When you buy these stocks you are gambling"
|2.||essay - put to the test, as for its quality, or give experimental use to; "This approach has been tried with good results"; "Test this recipe"|
pass judgment, evaluate, judge - form a critical opinion of; "I cannot judge some works of modern art"; "How do you evaluate this grant proposal?" "We shouldn't pass judgment on other people"
verify, control - check or regulate (a scientific experiment) by conducting a parallel experiment or comparing with another standard; "Are you controlling for the temperature?"
float - circulate or discuss tentatively; test the waters with; "The Republicans are floating the idea of a tax reform"
field-test - test something under the conditions under which it will actually be used; "The Army field tested the new tanks"
1. composition, study, paper, article, piece, assignment, discourse, tract, treatise, dissertation, disquisition, SA (S.M.S.) He was asked to write an essay about his home town.
2. A procedure that ascertains effectiveness, value, proper function, or other quality:
1. To make an attempt to do or make:
a written composition; a piece of written prose. The examination consists of four essays; Write an essay on/about your holiday. opstel مَقال، مَقالَه есе composição písemná práce; test der Aufsatz essay; skriftlig opgave; stil πραγματεία, δοκίμιοensayo, redacción essee مقاله essee rédaction, essaiמאמר प्रयास esej, sastavak esszé karangan ritgerð saggio, composizione 小論 소론, 평론, 논평; 수필, 에세이 rašinys, esė eseja; sacerējums esei opstelessay, stilwypracowanie, esej هڅه، كوښښ: مقاله، مضمون composição eseu, compunere эссе; сочинение písomná práca; esej esej esej essä, uppsats เรียงความ deneme 隨筆 есе; твір کسی موضوع پر کوئی مضمون یا مقالہ bài tiểu luận 随笔