1 ATTEMPT (I, T) to attempt to do or get something: try to do sth: Don't shout at him; he's only trying to help. | try sth: Roberts tried a shot at goal. | try and do sth: You must try and control your temper. | try: Tim may not be good at math but at least he tries. | try doing sth (=try to do something): I'm going to try cooking a paella this evening. | try hard/desperately (=make a lot of effort to do something): Sharon tried hard to keep a straight face. | try your best/hardest (=make as much effort as possible to do something): I'll try my best to finish the work for this evening. | try and try (=keep making an effort to do something): He tried and tried to make her stay but she refused. | try as you might (=used to say that someone is making a lot of effort to do something): Try as I might, I could not overcome my fear of heights. | it wasn't for lack/want of trying (=used to say that if someone does not achieve something it is not because they have not tried): If Simon doesn't get through his accountancy exams it won't be for lack of trying. | you couldn't do sth if you tried spoken (=used to say that someone does not have the skill or ability to do something): My Dad couldn't fix a car if he tried.2 TEST/USE (T) to do or use something for a short while to discover if it is suitable, enjoyable etc: It works really well - you should try it. | try doing sth: Try taking deep, slow breaths. | try sth on sb/sth: Scientists are trying the new drugs on rats. | try sb on sth: Petra's trying the baby on solid foods. | try something new/different (=do or use something that is different from what you usually do or use): a different kind of holiday for those who are willing to try something new | try sth for size (=put on a piece of clothing to find out whether it fits you)3 FOOD/DRINK (T) to taste food or drink to find out if you like it: You must try that home-made apple pie.—see taste 24 TRY TO FIND SB/STH (I, T) to go to a place or person, or call them, in order to find something or someone: “Where's the glue?” “Try Charles; maybe he knows.” | We tried several hotels before finding one with two single rooms. | I'm sorry, but Ms Bouvier is out of the office. Could you try again later.5 DOOR/WINDOW (T) to try to open a door, window etc in order to see if it is locked: I tried the top drawer but it was locked. | try the lock/latch/handle (=try to open a door, window etc by moving or pushing a lock etc)6 LAW (transitive usually passive) to examine and judge a legal case, or someone who is thought to be guilty of a crime in a court: Lansman was tried for murder.7 try sb's patience/temper/nerves etc to make someone feel impatient, angry, nervous etc: The constant noise from next door was trying my nerves to the utmost. | it's enough to try the patience of a saint spoken (=used to say that something is very annoying): These computer crashes are enough to try the patience of a saint.8 try your hand at sth to try a new activity in order to see whether it interests you or whether you are good at it: You ought to try your hand at portrait painting.9 try your luck to try to achieve something or get something you want, usually by taking a risk: After his singing career failed so miserably in England, he decided to try his luck abroad.try for sth phrasal verb (T) BrE to try and get something you really want such as a job, prize, or a chance to study somewhere: Alison's trying out for a job as a research assistant. try sth on phrasal verb (T)1 to put on a piece of clothing to see if it fits you or if it suits you: She tried the shoes on but they were too small.2 try it on BrE spoken to behave badly in order to find out how bad you can be before people become angry: During your first few days' teaching the kids will probably try it on just to see how you react.try sth out phrasal verb (T)1 to test something such as a method or a piece of equipment to see if it is effective or works properly: Jamie could hardly wait to try out his new bike.2 to practise a skill in order to improve it: try sth out on sb/sth: She enjoyed trying her French out on Jean-Pierre.try out for sth phrasal verb (T) AmE to try to be chosen as a member of a team, for a part in a play etc: Joan tried out for the school basketball team. 2 noun (C)1 (usually singular) an attempt to do something: She didn't manage to break the record, but it was a good try. | have a try: Let me have a try; I might be able to open it. | give it a try: I'm not sure I can make him change his mind, but I'll give it a try. | worth a try: My idea may not work, but it's worth a try.2 give sth/sb a try to try using or doing something to see if it is suitable or successful, or to ask if someone can help you: Shall we give that Tibetan restaurant a try?3 four points won by putting the ball on the ground behind the opponents' goal line in rugby
Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.