Definitions for essay
ˈɛs eɪ or, for 3,5 , ɛˈseɪ; ɛˈseɪes·say
This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word essay.
an analytic or interpretive literary composition
a tentative attempt
try, seek, attempt, essay, assayverb
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"
test, prove, try, try out, examine, essayverb
put to the test, as for its quality, or give experimental use to
"This approach has been tried with good results"; "Test this recipe"
A written composition of moderate length exploring a particular issue or subject.
A test, experiment; an assay.
To move forth, as into battle.
Etymology: From essai.
Samuel Johnson's Dictionary
Etymology: from the verb.
Fruitless our hopes, though pious our essays;
Your’s to preserve a friend, and mine to praise. Smith.
My essays, of all my other works, have been most current. Francis Bacon.
Yet modestly he does his work survey,
And calls his finish’d poem an essay. Poem to Roscommon.
He wrote this but as an essay, or taste of my virtue. William Shakespeare.
Repetitions wear us into a liking of what possibly, in the first essay, displeased us. John Locke.
Translating the first of ’s Iliads, I intended as an essay to the whole work. John Dryden, Fables, Preface.
Etymology: essayer, French.
While I this unexampled task essay,
Pass awful gulphs, and beat my painful way,
Celestial dove, divine assistance bring. Richard Blackmore, Creation.
No conquest she, but o’er herself desir’d;
No arts essay’d, but not to be admir’d. Alexander Pope, Epistle 5.
The standard in our mint being now settled, the rules and methods of essaying suited to it should remain unvariable. John Locke.
An essay is, generally, a piece of writing that gives the author's own argument, but the definition is vague, overlapping with those of a letter, a paper, an article, a pamphlet, and a short story. Essays have traditionally been sub-classified as formal and informal. Formal essays are characterized by "serious purpose, dignity, logical organization, length," whereas the informal essay is characterized by "the personal element (self-revelation, individual tastes and experiences, confidential manner), humor, graceful style, rambling structure, unconventionality or novelty of theme," etc.Essays are commonly used as literary criticism, political manifestos, learned arguments, observations of daily life, recollections, and reflections of the author. Almost all modern essays are written in prose, but works in verse have been dubbed essays (e.g., Alexander Pope's An Essay on Criticism and An Essay on Man). 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 (e.g., the United States and Canada), essays have become a major part of formal education. Secondary students are taught structured essay formats to improve their writing skills; admission essays are often used by universities in selecting applicants, and in the humanities and social sciences essays are often used as a way of assessing the performance of students during final exams. The concept of an "essay" has been extended to other media beyond writing. A film essay is a movie that often incorporates documentary filmmaking styles and focuses more on the evolution of a theme or idea. A photographic essay covers a topic with a linked series of photographs that may have accompanying text or captions.
An essay is a structured piece of writing that presents an argument or a perspective on a particular topic, supported by evidence and analysis. It is typically written to address a question or proposition and is often used in academic, scholarly, or professional contexts. Essays include components such as an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion, and may also incorporate citations from relevant sources. They can cover a vast array of subjects and can be persuasive, narrative, descriptive, expository, or argumentative in nature.
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
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
an assay. See Assay, n
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
to test the value and purity of (metals); to assay. See Assay
Etymology: [F. essayer. See Essay, n.]
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
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.]
Service is intended for students to hire a freelancer to write an essay for them. The student may provide the classroom material for the freelancer. Other times, the student may submit a draft of the essay that the freelancer perfects for grammar, style, and coherence.
In order to pass the entry exams to university I have to write a personal ESSAY online.
Etymology: "to put to proof, test the mettle of," late 15c., from French essaier, from essai "trial, attempt" (see essay (n.)). This sense has mostly gone with the divergent spelling assay. Meaning "to attempt" is from 1640s. Related: Essayed; essaying.
Submitted by ross_j on May 25, 2021
Text that describes the selected topic. For example, writing an essay on philosophy
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Submitted by emilievilla on January 30, 2019
Surnames Frequency by Census Records
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Essay is ranked #128249 in terms of the most common surnames in America.
The Essay surname appeared 133 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Essay.
92.4% or 123 total occurrences were White.
3.7% or 5 total occurrences were Asian.
British National Corpus
Written Corpus Frequency
Rank popularity for the word 'essay' in Written Corpus Frequency: #3685
Rank popularity for the word 'essay' in Nouns Frequency: #1621
The numerical value of essay in Chaldean Numerology is: 4
The numerical value of essay in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6
A revolution is not a dinner party, or writing an essay, or painting a picture, or doing embroidery; it cannot be so refined, so leisurely and gentle, so temperate, kind, courteous, restrained and magnanimous. A revolution is an insurrection, an act of violence by which one class overthrows another.
It is absurd that people should have to write an essay to the town to explain why they should be able to exercise their constitutional rights, we already have a very strict set of gun laws in the state, but this is way over the top.
A bad grade is only one letter in the Essay of life.
The opinion essay … was used an in-class assignment where the article was read together as a class, the teacher's purpose for introducing this essay was to introduce students to opinion writing while drawing correlations with 'The Watsons Go to Birmingham' as a secondary source to help support the context and events in the book.
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.
Popularity rank by frequency of use
Translations for essay
From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary
- مقالة, بحث, محاولةArabic
- проба, опит, есе, опитвам се, съчинениеBulgarian
- esej, pokus, zkouškaCzech
- prøve, forsøgeDanish
- Aufsatz, Versuch, EssayGerman
- απόπειρα, δοκιμή, δοκίμιο, δοκιμάζω, πραγματεία, αποπειρώμαι, έκθεσηGreek
- essee, kirjoitelmaFinnish
- essai, dissertation, rédactionFrench
- tentativo, saggio, prova, studio, ricercaItalian
- エッセイ, 随筆Japanese
- 隨筆, 수필Korean
- poging, opstel, essayDutch
- ensaiar, tentar, ensaio, tentativaPortuguese
- эссе, сочинениеRussian
- poskus, esejSlovene
- essä, uppsatsSwedish
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