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Related to trying: trying times
try (one's) utmost
To put forth the greatest possible amount of effort or energy toward some task or goal; to try as hard as one can. I'll try my utmost to be there for your wedding, but I don't know if I'll have enough money to buy the plane ticket. Janet tried her utmost to save the family farm, but the bank foreclosed on it in the end.
what's the use (of doing something)
What reason is there (to do something); why should I bother (doing something)? A: "OK, so you didn't do so well on the test. Just study a bit harder next time!" B: "What's the use? I'm just not any good at math." What's the use of making your bed each morning when you're just going to mess up the sheets again at night?
See also: use
Times of trouble, struggle, or unhappiness. I've had bad times since losing my job, but I'm trying to stay positive.
what's the good of (doing something)
What reason is there (to do something); why should one bother (doing something)? What's the good of trying? I just don't have the brains for this class. What's the good of making your bed each morning when you're just going to mess up the sheets again at night?
try it on
1. To put on a garment or other wearable item to see if it fits. You won't know if that dress fits unless you try it on. A: "Oh my gosh, I love it, Chad!" B: "Well go on, try it on! See if it fits!"
2. To attempt some form of underhanded behavior or deception, typically with the intention of soliciting something or prompting an action from someone. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. She's always trying it on with us, but we're wise to her games.
try the patience of (someone)
To frustrate or annoy (someone) by continued unwanted behavior; to test the limits of someone's patience. His tangential questions are clearly trying the patience of the professor, who asked that all questions be held until the end of the lecture.
try (one's) hand (at something)
To attempt to do something new; to try something for the first time. I need a new hobby. Maybe I'll try my hand at painting! Thanks for letting Janet come to rugby practice with you. I know he's eager to try her hand.
try (one's) luck
To attempt to do something where success is not known or guaranteed or relies on good fortune. I'll try my luck to see if I can get the lawnmower working, but we may have to bring it to a mechanic. The young billionaire, who made his fortune in the tech industry, is now trying his luck at the pharmaceutical market. I'll try my luck with the odd slot machine or lottery ticket, but otherwise I don't really care for gambling.
try (something) on
1. Literally, to put on a garment or other wearable item to see if it fits. Sometimes expanded to the phrase "try (something) on for size." I'm going to try this dress on to see if it fits, because it's on sale for an incredible price. I'm so glad you like the ring! You should try it on in case we need to get it resized.
2. By extension, to try, use, or consider something in order to make a decision or form an opinion about it. The boss is trying on a new approach to dealing with disobedient employees. The whole point of test driving a car is to try it on for size to see if you feel comfortable in it.
try (something) out
To try, use, or consider something in order to make a decision or form an opinion about it. The whole point of test driving a car is to try it out and see if you feel comfortable in it. Too hungry for a regular burger? Then try out our new "Ultra Burger," with eight beef patties!
like trying to nail Jell-O to the wall
Incredibly difficult or impossible, such that it could be seen as a foolish or worthless endeavor to attempt. (Jell-O is a brand of gelatin-based deserts, which are known for being wobbly and unstable.) Trying to have a reasonable debate with her father is like trying to nail Jell-O to the wall. If they can't secure a victory here, climbing back to spot in the finals will be like trying to nail Jell-O to the wall.
not for (a) lack of trying
Despite putting forth a decent amount of effort or energy. A: "So, did he agree to go on a date with you?" B: "No. Not for lack of trying, mind you." I'm sorry your team lost, but it wasn't for a lack of trying!
not for (a) want of trying
Despite putting forth a decent amount of effort or energy. A: "So, did he agree to go on a date with you?" B: "No. Not for want of trying, mind you." I'm sorry your team lost, but it wasn't for a want of trying!
try a fall with (someone)
old-fashioned To spar, compete, contend with someone. She quickly proved to be an exceptionally talented wrestler, willing to try a fall with anyone from the surrounding areas. I was nervous about trying a fall with a renowned economist in the debate, but I think I did a pretty good job.
try conclusions with (someone)
old-fashioned To engage someone in a battle or contest. She quickly proved to be an exceptionally talented wrestler, willing to try a fall with anyone from the surrounding areas. It has become clear following their decision to support this horrible agenda that the government dare not try conclusions with our neighbors up north.
try (one's) patience
To frustrate or annoy one by continued unwanted behavior; to test the limits of one's patience. His tangential questions are clearly trying the professor's patience, who asked that all questions be held until the end of the lecture. Will you take the kids to the playground for an hour? They're really trying my patience.
try every trick in the book
To make use of every possible angle or approach to do or achieve something, especially ways that are clever, cunning, or ethically questionable. I tried every trick in the book to get them to invest, but nothing could persuade them. You can try every trick in the book to get prospective employers to notice you, but if your work ethic isn't fundamentally sound, no one is going to want you working for them.
bad timesand difficult times; trying times; hard times; tough times
a period that offers difficulties, such as when there is not enough food, money, or work. We went through trying times when Perry was out of work, but we all bounced back.
Keep (on) trying.and Don't quit trying.
Fig. a phrase encouraging continued efforts. Jane: I think I'm doing better in calculus. John: Keep trying! You can get an A. Sue: I really want that promotion, but I keep getting turned down. Bill: Don't quit trying! You'll get it.
without half trying
Rur. effortlessly. He was so strong, he could bend an iron bar without half trying. I wish I had his ability to cook. He makes the most delicious dishes without half trying.
like trying to nail Jell-O to the wallAMERICAN
If something is like trying to nail Jell-O to the wall, it is impossible or extremely difficult. Jell-O is a trademark. Trying to describe the party's policy on this is like trying to nail Jell-O to the wall. Note: Jell-O is a dessert that resembles ready-made jelly. This expression was first used by the American President Theodore Roosevelt in a letter to William Roscoe Thayer in 1915. He was describing the difficulty of negotiating with Colombia over the Panama Canal.
try it onBRITISH, INFORMAL
1. If someone tries it on, they try to start sexual activity with another person. He was horrible. He tried it on. I was on my own with him.
2. If someone tries it on, they try to get something or do something, often in a dishonest way. They were just trying it on — applying a little pressure in the hope that they would squeeze something out of me.
3. If someone, especially a child, tries it on, they behave badly, to see how badly they can behave before someone stops them. The kids were trying it on with her.
try it on1 attempt to deceive or seduce someone. 2 deliberately test someone's patience to see how much you can get away with. British informal
1 2003 This Is Essex The watchdog Energywatch says that energy suppliers are too quick to assume that consumers who are genuinely disputing an inaccurate gas or electricity bill are ‘trying it on’.