What does Essay mean?

Definitions for Essay
ˈɛs eɪ or, for 3,5 , ɛˈseɪ; ɛˈseɪEs·say

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word Essay.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. essay(noun)

    an analytic or interpretive literary composition

  2. essay(verb)

    a tentative attempt

  3. try, seek, attempt, essay, assay(verb)

    make an effort or attempt

    "He tried to shake off his fears"; "The infant had essayed a few wobbly steps"; "The police attempted to stop the thief"; "He sought to improve himself"; "She always seeks to do good in the world"

  4. test, prove, try, try out, examine, essay(verb)

    put to the test, as for its quality, or give experimental use to

    "This approach has been tried with good results"; "Test this recipe"


  1. essay(Noun)

    A written composition of moderate length exploring a particular issue or subject.

    Etymology: From essai.

  2. essay(Noun)

    A test, experiment; an assay.

    Etymology: From essai.

  3. essay(Noun)

    An attempt.

    Etymology: From essai.

  4. essay(Verb)

    To try.

    Etymology: From essai.

  5. essay(Verb)

    To move forth, as into battle.

    Etymology: From essai.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Essay(noun)

    an effort made, or exertion of body or mind, for the performance of anything; a trial; attempt; as, to make an essay to benefit a friend

    Etymology: [F. essayer. See Essay, n.]

  2. Essay(noun)

    a composition treating of any particular subject; -- usually shorter and less methodical than a formal, finished treatise; as, an essay on the life and writings of Homer; an essay on fossils, or on commerce

    Etymology: [F. essayer. See Essay, n.]

  3. Essay(noun)

    an assay. See Assay, n

    Etymology: [F. essayer. See Essay, n.]

  4. Essay(noun)

    to exert one's power or faculties upon; to make an effort to perform; to attempt; to endeavor; to make experiment or trial of; to try

    Etymology: [F. essayer. See Essay, n.]

  5. Essay(noun)

    to test the value and purity of (metals); to assay. See Assay

    Etymology: [F. essayer. See Essay, n.]


  1. Essay

    An essay is a piece of writing which is often written from an author's personal point of view. Essays can consist of a number of elements, including: literary criticism, political manifestos, learned arguments, observations of daily life, recollections, and reflections of the author. The definition of an essay is vague, overlapping with those of an article and a short story. Almost all modern essays are written in prose, but works in verse have been dubbed essays. While brevity usually defines an essay, voluminous works like John Locke's An Essay Concerning Human Understanding and Thomas Malthus's An Essay on the Principle of Population are counterexamples. In some countries, essays have become a major part of formal education. Secondary students are taught structured essay formats to improve their writing skills, and admission essays are often used by universities in selecting applicants and, in the humanities and social sciences, as a way of assessing the performance of students during final exams. The concept of an "essay" has been extended to other mediums beyond writing. A film essay is a movie that often incorporates documentary film making styles and which focuses more on the evolution of a theme or an idea. A photographic essay is an attempt to cover a topic with a linked series of photographs; it may or may not have an accompanying text or captions.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Essay

    es′ā, n. a trial: an experiment: a written composition less elaborate than a treatise.—v.t. Essay′, to try: to attempt: to make experiment of:—pr.p. essay′ing; pa.p. essayed′.ns. Essay′er, Es′sayist, one who essays: a writer of essays; Essayette′, Es′saykin, a little essay.—adjs. Es′sayish; Essayis′tic. [O. Fr. essai—L. exagium, weighing—exagĕre, to try, examine.]

Editors Contribution

  1. Essay

    Text that describes the selected topic. For example, writing an essay on philosophy

    If you feel unable to articulate a good essay, buy college essay done by our qualified experts.

    Submitted by emilievilla on January 30, 2019  

British National Corpus

  1. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'Essay' in Written Corpus Frequency: #3685

  2. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'Essay' in Nouns Frequency: #1621

How to pronounce Essay?

  1. Alex
    US English

How to say Essay in sign language?

  1. essay


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of Essay in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of Essay in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Examples of Essay in a Sentence

  1. Dan Gainor:

    Can you imagine The New York Times running an essay where a white woman complains about how African-American men are rude and then blames it on race? The paper and the author would be skewered, the left's new default is that white people are doing wrong at every turn -- even walking down the street.

  2. Lee Drake:

    A bad grade is only one letter in the Essay of life.

  3. Miguel Proenca:

    There could not be a more interesting time to explore the issue of the European borders, and obviously the refugee crisis and the terrorist attacks gave a different meaning to the project we are developing, because we decided to focus on the domestic borders, in the larger picture, the questions that we were asking ourselves and the essay raised is still the same and is about the identity of Europe: the multiculturalism, citizenship, economy, different speeds of growing, communitarian isolation and discrimination.

  4. Jim Wallace:

    It’s like having a college professor say, ‘I’m going to read your essay and if I don’t like it, I’m going to give it back to you,’.

  5. Roger McNamee:

    By draping his essay in the guise of cooperation, Zuckerberg hopes to distract policy makers from the real threat, their code and algorithms influence our daily lives in ways far more intrusive than democratic governments or the law. No one elected these companies and they refuse to be held accountable.

Images & Illustrations of Essay

  1. EssayEssayEssayEssayEssay

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for Essay

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"Essay." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 3 Aug. 2020. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/Essay>.

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