trying


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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.
See also: try, utmost

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

bad times

Times of trouble, struggle, or unhappiness. I've had bad times since losing my job, but I'm trying to stay positive.
See also: bad, times

like looking for a needle in a haystack

Similar to searching for something that is very difficult to locate, especially something small and/or something hidden among similar things. Trying to find my contact lens on the floor was like looking for a needle in a haystack.
See also: haystack, like, look, needle

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?
See also: good, of

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.
See also: on, try

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.
See also: of, patience, try

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 she's eager to try her hand.
See also: hand, try

try (one's) luck

To attempt to succeed in doing something for which success is not guaranteed, or that will rely at least in part 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.
See also: luck, try

try on

1. Literally, to put on a garment or other wearable item to see if it fits. A noun or pronoun can be used between "try" and "on." I'm going to try on this dress 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. A noun or pronoun can be used between "try" and "on." Sometimes expanded to the phrase "try (something) on for size." The boss is trying on a new approach to communicating with vendors. The whole point of test driving a car is to try it on for size to see if you feel comfortable in it.
See also: on, try

try out

1. verb To try, use, or consider something in order to make a decision or form an opinion about it. A noun or pronoun can be used between "try" and "out." 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!
2. verb To perform before an evaluator in order to be selected for a particular role or position, such as on an athletic team. I'm planning to try out for the basketball team, so I'm going to try to practice every day this summer.
3. noun A process in which one performs before an evaluator in order to be selected for a particular role or position, such as on an athletic team. As a noun, the phrase is usually hyphenated or spelled as one word, and is sometimes pluralized ("tryouts"). The band's drummer just quit, so they're having an open tryout to select a replacement. Hey, I didn't see you at tryouts today. You didn't get cut, did you?
See also: out, try

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.
See also: like, nail, trying, 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!
See also: lack, not, 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!
See also: not, of, trying, want

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.
See also: fall, try

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.
See also: conclusion, try

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.
See also: patience, try

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.
See also: book, every, trick, try

be like trying to find a needle in a haystack

To be similar to searching for something that is very difficult to locate, especially something small and/or something hidden among similar things. Trying to find my contact lens on the floor was like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

bad times

 and 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.
See also: bad, times

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.
See also: keep, trying

like looking for a needle in a haystack

Fig. engaged in a hopeless search. Trying to find a white glove in the snow is like looking for a needle in a haystack. I tried to find my lost contact lens on the beach, but it was like looking for a needle in a haystack.
See also: haystack, like, look, needle

try out (for something)

to audition for a part in some performance or other activity requiring skill. I intend to try out for the play. I'm going to try out, too.
See also: out, try

try someone or something out

to test someone or something for a while; to sample the performance of someone or something. We will try her out in the editorial department and see how she does. We will try out this employee in another department for a while.
See also: out, try

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.
See also: half, trying, without

try on

1. Test the fit or look of a garment by putting it on, as in Do you want to try on this dress? This expression is also put as try on for size, which is sometimes used figuratively, as in The teacher wanted to try the new method on for size before agreeing to use it. [Late 1600s]
2. Test the effectiveness or acceptability of something, as in The actors decided to try on the new play out of town. [Late 1800s] Also see try out.
See also: on, try

try out

1. Undergo a qualifying test, as for an athletic team. For example, I'm trying out for the basketball team. [Mid-1900s]
2. Test or use experimentally, as in They're trying out new diesels, or We're trying out this new margarine. [Late 1800s]
See also: out, try

like trying to nail Jell-O to the wall

AMERICAN
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.
See also: like, nail, trying, wall

like looking for a needle in a haystack

If trying to find something is like looking for a needle in a haystack, it is extremely difficult or impossible. She was told by police that searching for the dog would be like looking for a needle in a haystack. Note: This expression is very variable. It soon became clear that we were looking for a needle in a haystack. It's very much a needle in a haystack situation that we're dealing with.
See also: haystack, like, look, needle

try it on

BRITISH, INFORMAL
COMMON
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.
See also: on, try

try it on

1 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’.
See also: on, try

like looking for/trying to find a ˌneedle in a ˈhaystack

very difficult to find: How can we ever find the quotation if you don’t even know what part of the book it comes from? It’ll be like looking for a needle in a haystack.

ˌtry it ˈon (with somebody)

(British English, informal) do something that you know is wrong, in order to see if somebody will accept this behaviour or not: The price he asked was far too much. I think he was just trying it on.Don’t try it on with me, pal, or you’ll be sorry.
See also: on, try

not for lack/want of ˈtrying

used to say that although somebody has not succeeded in something, they have tried very hard: He’s had no success in finding a job, though not for lack of trying.
See also: lack, not, of, trying, want

try on

v.
To put some garment on in order to determine if it fits: She went to the dressing room to try on the sweater. He tried the shoes on and said they were too tight.
See also: on, try

try out

v.
1. To undergo a competitive qualifying test, as for a job or athletic team: Thirty students tried out for the soccer team, but only twenty were chosen.
2. To test or use something experimentally: Have you tried out the new automated banking system yet? I tried a new brand of toothpaste out, and I really like it.
See also: out, try
References in periodicals archive ?
I was trying to think of anything I possibly could come up with, and that one somehow came together.
I know in the '70s I did film and video in some Greenbergian sense, trying to figure out what each one did.
First, set a reachable goal for yourself in an audition, such as trying to do your best.
They are an innovative retailer and recognize the importance of Pre-Seed, both for the category and more significantly, for the millions of couples trying to conceive nationwide," said Dr.
Usually, when I finish writing a script, I actually give it to an actor first because I find that there are so many similarities between writers and actors: They're both trying to portray an accurate character.
Treat yourself as if you were a much-loved child that an adult was trying to keep walking on a narrow sidewalk.
I've got to give Andruw a lot of credit because he read the situation perfectly and knew we were trying to get a ground ball inside right there.
Trying to stay positive, I played it up as a great victory to the rest of the team and Eric happily made a "Jason
GLENDALE - A ex-convict arrested last week and accused of trying to abduct two youngsters, expose himself to three others and trying to rape a woman is also suspected of trying to kidnap a woman a year ago, police said Thursday.
At least two years had past and I found myself trying this crazy 540 thing with Caballero in a hotel swimming pool full of water.
Trying to decode a baby's cries can be a frustrating challenge for parents.
The thing to get used to is probably doing all this skateboarding, trying to film for this video part and do an interview, then trying to get school done.
Dennis O'Brien, maintenance supervisor for Van Nuys Airport, said he's aware of Rusty's complaints and has been trying to work with her on the problem.
I was always too scared to land it on the concrete outside, so I was trying it in the living room and I said, "OK.
WEST HILLS - Nearly a year after its grand reopening, Fallbrook Center still doesn't have the promised traffic signal on Victory Boulevard to ease the traffic nightmare for shoppers trying to enter and exit the popular mall.