try (v.)

c. 1300, "examine judiciously, discover by evaluation, test;" mid-14c., "sit in judgment of," also "attempt to do," from Anglo-French trier (13c.), from Old French trier "to pick out, cull" (12c.), from Gallo-Roman *triare, of unknown origin. The ground sense is "separate out (the good) by examination." Sense of "subject to some strain" (of patience, endurance, etc.) is recorded from 1530s. To try on "test the fit of a garment" is from 1690s; to try (something) on for size in the figurative sense is recorded by 1946. Try and instead of try to is recorded from 1680s.

try (n.)

late 15c., "screen for sifting," from try (v.). From 1832 as "an effort, an attempt."

updated on February 19, 2014

Definitions of try from WordNet
try (v.)
make an effort or attempt;
He tried to shake off his fears
Synonyms: seek / attempt / essay / assay
try (v.)
put to the test, as for its quality, or give experimental use to;
This approach has been tried with good results
Synonyms: test / prove / try out / examine / essay
try (v.)
put on trial or hear a case and sit as the judge at the trial of;
The football star was tried for the murder of his wife
The judge tried both father and son in separate trials
Synonyms: judge / adjudicate
try (v.)
take a sample of;
Synonyms: sample / try out / taste
try (v.)
examine or hear (evidence or a case) by judicial process;
The case will be tried in California
Synonyms: hear
try (v.)
give pain or trouble to;
I've been sorely tried by these students
try (v.)
test the limits of;
You are trying my patience!
Synonyms: strain / stress
try (v.)
melt (fat or lard) in order to separate out impurities;
try the yak butter
Synonyms: render
try (v.)
put on a garment in order to see whether it fits and looks nice;
Synonyms: try on
try (n.)
earnest and conscientious activity intended to do or accomplish something;
she gave it a good try
Synonyms: attempt / effort / endeavor / endeavour
From, not affiliated with etymonline.