assay
Pronunciation
  • IPA: /ˈæseɪ/, /əˈseɪ/
Noun

assay (plural assays)

  1. Trial, attempt.
    • [1644], [John Milton], Of Education. To Master Samuel Hartlib, [London: Printed for Thomas Underhill and/or for Thomas Johnson], OCLC 946735316 ↗:
      I am withal persuaded that it may prove much more easy in the assay than it now seems at distance.
  2. Examination and determination; test.
    • c. 1603–1604, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Othello, the Moore of Venice”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act I, scene iii]:
      This cannot be, by no assay of reason.
  3. The qualitative or quantitative chemical analysis of something.
  4. Trial by danger or by affliction; adventure; risk; hardship; state of being tried.
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  5. Tested purity or value.
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  6. The act or process of ascertaining the proportion of a particular metal in an ore or alloy; especially, the determination of the proportion of gold or silver in bullion or coin.
  7. The alloy or metal to be assayed.
Translations Translations Verb

assay (assays, present participle assaying; past assayed, past participle assayed)

  1. (transitive) To attempt (something). [from 14th c.]
    • c. 1604–1605, William Shakespeare, “All’s VVell, that Ends VVell”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act III, scene vii]:
      To-night let us assay our plot.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book 9”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: Printed [by Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker […] [a]nd by Robert Boulter […] [a]nd Matthias Walker, […], OCLC 228722708 ↗; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: The Text Exactly Reproduced from the First Edition of 1667: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, OCLC 230729554 ↗:
      Soft words to his fierce passion she assayed.
    • 1936, Alfred Edward Housman, More Poems, IV, The Sage to the Young Man ↗, ll.5-8:
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    • 2011, ‘All-pro, anti-American’, The Economist, 28 May:
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  2. (archaic, intransitive) To try, attempt (to do something). [14th-19th c.]
    • 1526, William Tyndale, trans. Bible, Acts IX:
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  3. (transitive) To analyze or estimate the composition or value of (a metal, ore etc.). [from 15th c.]
  4. (obsolete, transitive) To test the abilities of (someone) in combat; to fight. [15th-17th c.]
    • 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, [http://quod.lib.umich.edu/c/cme/MaloryWks2/1:6.18?rgn=div2;view=fulltext chapter xviij], in Le Morte Darthur, book IV:
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  5. To affect.
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  6. To try tasting, as food or drink.
Translations Translations


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