General English


  • verb to hear a civil or criminal trial


  • noun a score achieved by touching the ball on the ground behind the line of the opposing team’s posts

Origin & History of “try”

Try originally meant ‘separate, sift out’. It was borrowed from Old French trier ‘separate, sift’, and it has been speculated that this went back to a vulgar Latin *trītāre, formed from the past participle of Latin terere ‘rub’ (source of English attrition, detritus, trite, etc). The notion of ‘separation’ led via ‘separating out the good’ to ‘examine, test’ and, in the 14th century, ‘attempt’. The derivative trial (16th c.) was borrowed from Anglo-Norman after the sense ‘attempt’ developed for try in English, and so has never wholeheartedly taken over this meaning.