a try at (someone or something)

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a try at (someone or something)

1. A chance or opportunity to do or attempt something. Well, I haven't fixed a motor in nearly 10 years, but I'll certainly make a try at it. You had your chance, now let your brother have a try at breaking the piñata. Give Sarah a try at the equation. I bet she can solve it!
2. An attempt to best, defeat, or assault someone. Watching him smile that smug, self-important smile, I thought to myself how much I'd love to have a try at him—one on one, with nothing but our fists! A: "This doesn't seem like any ordinary thief. He's always one step ahead of us." B: "Give me a try at him, Chief. I think I can bring him in." She made a name for herself as one of the best racers in the world in the span of just one year. Now, every professional worth their salt wants a try at her.
See also: try

*try at someone

 and *shot at someone; *crack at someone; *go at someone *stab at someone
an attempt to convince someone of something; an attempt to try to get information out of someone; an attempt to try to train someone to do something. (The expressions with shot and crack are more informal than the main entry phrase. (*Typically: take ~; have ~; give someone ~.) Let me have a crack at him. I can make him talk. Let the new teacher have a try at Billy. She can do marvels with unwilling learners. Give me a crack at him. I know how to make these bums talk.
See also: try

*try at something

 and *shot at something; *crack at something; *go at something; *stab at something; *whack at something
to take a turn at trying to do something. (*Typically: take ~; have ~; give someone ~.) All of us wanted to have a try at the prize-winning shot. Let Sally have a shot at it. If you let me have a crack at it, maybe I can be successful.
See also: try