Etymology
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essay (n.)

1590s, "trial, attempt, endeavor," also "short, discursive literary composition" (first attested in writings of Francis Bacon, probably in imitation of Montaigne), from French essai "trial, attempt, essay" (in Old French from 12c.), from Late Latin exagium "a weighing, a weight," from Latin exigere "drive out; require, exact; examine, try, test," from ex "out" (see ex-) + agere "to set in motion, drive" (from PIE root *ag- "to drive, draw out or forth, move") apparently meaning here "to weigh." The suggestion is of unpolished writing. Compare assay, also examine.

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bash (n.)

"a heavy blow," 1805, from bash (v.). Meaning "an attempt" is attested by 1945. On a bash "on a drunken spree" is slang from 1901, which gave the word its sense of "a wild party."

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orchidectomy (n.)

"a cutting out of one or both of the testicles," 1870, from Latinized form of Greek orkhis "testicle" (see orchid) + -ectomy "a cutting, surgical removal." Coined by medical men in an attempt to avoid the common word castration.

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fellow-feeling (n.)
1610s, an attempt to translate the sense of Latin compassio and Greek sympatheia. See fellow (n.) + feeling (n.). It yielded a back-formed verb, fellow-feel in 17c., mercifully short-lived.
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anapeiratic (adj.)
in pathology, "arising from too frequent exercise," especially of paralysis of a part caused by repetitive motion, 1877, from Greek anapeirasthai "try again, do again," from ana "again" (see ana-) + pieran "attempt, try" (see pirate (n.)).
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Stanford-Binet 

intelligence test, first published 1916 as a revision and extension of the Binet-Simon intelligence tests, from Stanford University (California, U.S.) + the name of French psychologist Alfred Binet, who devised the attempt at a scientific measurement of intelligence.

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hack (n.1)
"tool for chopping," early 14c., from hack (v.1); cognates: Danish hakke "mattock," German Hacke "pickax, hatchet, hoe." Meaning "a cut, notch" is from 1570s. Meaning "an act of cutting" is from 1836; figurative sense of "a try, an attempt" is first attested 1898.
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con (v.3)

"to study, get to know, peruse carefully," c. 1200, cunnen, "make an attempt, try or seek to do," from Old English cunnian "to know" (see can (v.1)). Related: Conned; conning.

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whirl (n.)
early 15c., "flywheel of a spindle," from whirl (v.). The meaning "act of whirling" is recorded from late 15c.; figurative sense of "confused activity" is recorded from 1550s. Colloquial sense of "tentative attempt" is attested from 1884, American English.
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license (v.)

c. 1400, "grant formal authorization to do what would be illegal to do without it," from licence (n.), which see for the modern attempt at differentiation of spelling. Related: Licensed; Licensing.

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