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be tired and emotional
To be drunk. (A semi-polite or humorous euphemism.) Primarily heard in UK. I might be mistaken, but did it seem to you like Sean's father was a bit tired and emotional at the picnic? You must excuse me, I'm a bit tired and emotional just now. I think I'd best be going home to bed.
God knows (that) I've tried
It is the absolute truth that I have tried my best (to do something). A: "You and Jeff just need to spend some time together and bond." B: "God knows I've tried. That boy just isn't interested in doing anything other than playing those damned video games." A: "You need to convince her to accept the deal." B: "God knows that I've tried, but she is adamantly refusing." A: "Then try harder!"
Lord knows (that) I've tried
It is the absolute truth that I have tried my best (to do something). A: "You and Jeff just need to spend some time together and bond." B: "Lord knows I've tried. That boy just isn't interested in doing anything other than playing those damned video games." A: "You need to convince her to accept the deal." B: "Lord knows that I've tried, but she is adamantly refusing." A: "Then try harder!"
tried and tested
Proven to be reliable through frequent, widespread, or long-time use. The tried and tested method for getting someone to confess is to just let them keep talking. The tried and tested first food for babies is rice cereal, but you can really feed them anything mushy.
tried and true
Known to be reliably effective from previous experience. Hyphenated if used as a modifier before a noun. I've got a way of rustling up more business that's tried and true. I prefer to use my own tried-and-true methods rather than experimenting with others that I don't know.
try (one's) fortune
To attempt to do something where success is not known or guaranteed or else relies on good luck. I'll try my fortune 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 fortune at the pharmaceutical market. I'll try my fortune at the odd slot machine or lottery ticket, but otherwise I don't really care for gambling.
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.
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.
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 (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.
try (something) out on (one)
To test something on one, in order to get their feedback on it. These cookies should be a big hit at the bake sale—I tried them out on my kids, and they gobbled them right up. Try your proposal out on me, and I'll tell you how good or bad it sounds.
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.
To attempt to visit or contact some person or location following a failed previous attempt. A noun or pronoun can be used between "try" and "back," but only when referring to a phone call. Professor Smith has actually gone home for the day, but you can try back again tomorrow. No message, I'll just try him back later.
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 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.
try for (something)
1. To attempt to achieve, accomplish, or win something. She's trying for a new world record in this weekend's race. He's trying for the championship title in today's match.
2. To put someone on trial for some alleged crime or offense. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "try" and "for." The authoritarian government has been trying a number of high-profile writers for treason. The Feds only had enough evidence to try the gangster for embezzlement.
3. To go to someone in the hopes of obtaining something from them. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "try" and "for." A: "Oh, shoot. I don't have any sugar to make cookies." B: "Why don't you try the neighbors for some?" I tried Mr. Smith for advice about my project, but he wasn't any help.
See also: try
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 it on with (one)
To attempt to have sex with one. Primarily heard in UK. My boyfriend got drunk and tried it on with one of my friends, so I broke up with him right then and there. I heard she tried it on with one of the groomsmen during the reception.
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.
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?
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.
Lord knows I've tried.
Fig. I certainly have tried very hard. Alice: Why don't you get Bill to fix this fence? Mary: Lord knows I've tried. I must have asked him a dozen times—this year alone. Sue: I can't seem to get to class on time. Rachel: That's just awful. Sue: Lord knows I've tried. I just can't do it.
tried and true
trustworthy; dependable. (Hyphenated before nominals.) The method I use to cure the hiccups is tried and true. Finally, her old tried-and-true methods failed because she hadn't fine-tuned them to the times.
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.
try someone back (again)
to try to return someone's telephone call again. She's not in, so I'll try her back later. Jan will try her back.
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.
tried and true
Tested and proved to be worthy or reliable, as in Let me deal with it-my method is tried and true. [Mid-1900s]
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.
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]
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.
tried and trueproved effective or reliable by experience.
1967 Listener Miss Aukin had the good sense to use the tried and true concealment gambit by which eventually two young officers, bent on cuckolding a greengrocer, were compelled to hide in the same grandfather clock.
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’.
ˌtried and ˈtested/ˈtrusted(British English) (American English ˌtried and ˈtrue) that you have used or relied on in the past successfully: We’ll be using a tried and tested technique to solve the problem.
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.
1. To call or visit a location again as the continuation of an attempt to make contact with a person or place: The office is now closed, but you can try back during business hours.
2. To call or visit someone again as the continuation of an attempt to make contact: If I'm not around when you call, try me back tomorrow night.
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.
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.
tried and true
Tested and proven effective. Although this term has the archaic sound of a medieval contest, it dates only from the twentieth century. William Faulkner used it in A Fable (1954): “His enslavement . . . from which he will emancipate himself by that one ancient tried and true method.”