Meaning of essay

es•say

Pronunciation: (n.es'ā for 1, 2 es'ā, e&sylpsā' for 3–5v. e&sylpsā'), [key]
— n.
  1. a short literary composition on a particular theme or subject, usually in prose and generally analytic, speculative, or interpretative.
  2. anything resembling such a composition: a picture essay.
  3. an effort to perform or accomplish something; attempt.
  4. a design for a proposed stamp differing in any way from the design of the stamp as issued.
  5. a tentative effort; trial; assay.
—v.t.
  1. to try; attempt.
  2. to put to the test; make trial of.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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