• (RP, GA) IPA: /ˈɛˌseɪ/

essay (plural essays)

  1. (authorship) A written composition of moderate length, exploring a particular issue or subject.
  2. (obsolete) A test, experiment; an assay.
  3. (now rare) An attempt.
    • 1988, James McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom, Oxford 2003, p. 455:
      This was Lee's first essay in the kind of offensive-defensive strategy that was to become his hallmark.
  4. (philately, finance) A proposed design for a postage stamp or a banknote.
Related terms Translations Translations Pronunciation
  • (British, America) IPA: /ɛˈseɪ/, /ˈɛˌseɪ/

essay (essays, present participle essaying; past and past participle essayed)

  1. (dated, transitive) To try.
  2. (intransitive) To move forth, as into battle.

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