Assay

As*say"

noun

Etymology

Old French asai, essai, trial, French essa. See Essay, noun
  • [Obsolete] Trial; attempt; essay. Chaucer.
    I am withal persuaded that it may prove much more easy in the assay than it now seems at distance.
    — Milton.
  • [Obsolete] Examination and determination; test; as, an assay of bread or wine.
    This can not be, by no assay of reason.
    — Shakespeare
  • [Obsolete] Trial by danger or by affliction; adventure; risk; hardship; state of being tried.
    Through many hard assays which did betide.
    — Spenser.
  • [Obsolete] Tested purity or value.
    With gold and pearl of rich assay.
    — Spenser.
  • (Metallurgy) The act or process of ascertaining the proportion of a particular metal in an ore or alloy; especially, the determination of the proportion of gold or silver in bullion or coin.
  • The alloy or metal to be assayed. Ure.
    Assay and essay are radically the same word; but modern usage has appropriated assay chiefly to experiments in metallurgy, and essay to intellectual and bodily efforts. See Essay.
    Assay is used adjectively or as the first part of a compound; as, assay balance, assay furnace.
  • Assay master
    an officer who assays or tests gold or silver coin or bullion.
  • Assay ton
    a weight of 29,166⅔ grams.

As*say"

verb transitive [imperfect & participle past Assayed ; participle present & verbal noun Assaying.]

Etymology

Old French asaier, essaier, French essayer, from essai. See Assay, noun, Essay, verb
  • [Obsolete or Archaic] To try; to attempt; to apply.
    To-night let us assay our plot.
    — Shakespeare
    Soft words to his fierce passion she assayed.
    — Milton.
  • [Obsolete] To affect.
    When the heart is ill assayed.
    — Spenser.
  • [Obsolete] To try tasting, as food or drink.
  • To subject, as an ore, alloy, or other metallic compound, to chemical or metallurgical examination, in order to determine the amount of a particular metal contained in it, or to ascertain its composition.

As*say"

verb intransitive
  • [Archaic. In this sense essay is now commonly used.] To attempt, try, or endeavor.
    She thrice assayed to speak.
    — Dryden.