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In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government ought to be instructed... No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people.
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1828 Noah Webster Dictionary
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1828.mshaffer.comWord [assay]

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assay

ASSA'Y, n. [L. sequor; assequor, to follow, to examine. See Essay.]

1. The trial of the goodness, purity, weight, value, &c. of metals or metallic substances. Any operation or experiement for ascertaining the quantity of a precious metal in an ore or mineral. Analysis is a term of more comprehensive import, extending to an examination of the nature and quantities of all parts of the compound.

2. In law, an examination of weights and measures by the standard.

3. Examination; trial; effort; first entrance upon any business; attempt. In these senses, which are found in old authors, now rarely used. [See Essay.]

4. Value; great purity. Obs.

ASSA'Y, v.t.

1. To try or prove, by examination or experiment, the quantity and purity of metallic substances.

2. To apply to the touchstone.



Evolution (or devolution) of this word [assay]

1828 Webster1844 Webster1913 Webster

ASSA'Y, n. [L. sequor; assequor, to follow, to examine. See Essay.]

1. The trial of the goodness, purity, weight, value, &c. of metals or metallic substances. Any operation or experiement for ascertaining the quantity of a precious metal in an ore or mineral. Analysis is a term of more comprehensive import, extending to an examination of the nature and quantities of all parts of the compound.

2. In law, an examination of weights and measures by the standard.

3. Examination; trial; effort; first entrance upon any business; attempt. In these senses, which are found in old authors, now rarely used. [See Essay.]

4. Value; great purity. Obs.

ASSA'Y, v.t.

1. To try or prove, by examination or experiment, the quantity and purity of metallic substances.

2. To apply to the touchstone.

AS-SAY', a. [Fr. essai; Sp. ensayo; Port. ensaio; It. saggio, an assay; Fr. essayer, to try; old Fr. essoyer, to endeavor. Kelham's Norm. Dict. It. assaggiare, to try; saggiare, to try, essay; Sp. ensayar, to try; Sw. försökia, to try; Dan. forsöger, to try, examine, endeavor. These words are all from the same root as seek, the radical sense of which is, to follow, to urge, press or strain; Sax. secan, to seek; L. sequor; assequor, to follow, to examine; D. zoeken; G. suchen; Dan. söger; Ir. seichim; It. seguire, Sp. seguir, to follow. Assay and essay are radically one word; but modern usage has appropriated assay to experiments in metallurgy, and essay to intellectual and bodily efforts. Class Sg. See Essay.]

  1. The trial of the goodness, purity, weight, value, &c. of metals or metallic substances. Any operation or experiment for ascertaining the quantity of a precious metal in an ore or mineral. Analysis is a term of more comprehensive import, extending to an examination of the nature and quantities of all parts of the compound. Assaying is called the docimastic art.
  2. In law, an examination of weights and measures by the standard. – Cowel.
  3. Examination; trial; effort; first entrance upon any business; attempt. In these senses, which are found in old authors, now rarely used. [See Essay.]
  4. Value; great purity. [Obs.] – Spenser.

AS-SAY', v.i.

To attempt, try or endeavor. He assayed to go. 1 Sam. xvii. [In this sense essay is now used.]


AS-SAY, v.t.

  1. To try or prove, by examination or experiment, the quantity and purity of metallic substances.
  2. To apply to the touchstone. – Milton.

As*say"
  1. Trial; attempt; essay.

    [Obs.] Chaucer.

    I am withal persuaded that it may prove much more easy in the assay than it now seems at distance.
    Milton.

  2. To try] to attempt; to apply.

    [Obs. or Archaic]

    To-night let us assay our plot.
    Shak.

    Soft words to his fierce passion she assayed.
    Milton.

  3. To attempt, try, or endeavor.

    [Archaic. In this sense essay is now commonly used.]

    She thrice assayed to speak.
    Dryden.

  4. Examination and determination; test; as, an assay of bread or wine.

    [Obs.]

    This can not be, by no assay of reason.
    Shak.

  5. To affect.

    [Obs.]

    When the heart is ill assayed.
    Spenser.

  6. Trial by danger or by affliction; adventure; risk; hardship; state of being tried.

    [Obs.]

    Through many hard assays which did betide.
    Spenser.

  7. To try tasting, as food or drink.

    [Obs.]
  8. Tested purity or value.

    [Obs.]

    With gold and pearl of rich assay.
    Spenser.

  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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 29,166***frac23] grams.

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Assay

ASSA'Y, noun [Latin sequor; assequor, to follow, to examine. See Essay.]

1. The trial of the goodness, purity, weight, value, etc. of metals or metallic substances. Any operation or experiement for ascertaining the quantity of a precious metal in an ore or mineral. Analysis is a term of more comprehensive import, extending to an examination of the nature and quantities of all parts of the compound.

2. In law, an examination of weights and measures by the standard.

3. Examination; trial; effort; first entrance upon any business; attempt. In these senses, which are found in old authors, now rarely used. [See Essay.]

4. Value; great purity. obsolete

ASSA'Y, verb transitive

1. To try or prove, by examination or experiment, the quantity and purity of metallic substances.

2. To apply to the touchstone.

ASSA'Y, verb intransitive To attempt, try or endeavor.

He assayed to go. 1 Samuel 17:39.

[In this sense essay is now used.]

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Word of the Day

importance

IMPORT'ANCE, n.

1. Weight; consequence; a bearing on some interest; that quality of any thing by which it may affect a measure, interest or result. The education of youth is of great importance to a free government. A religious education is of infinite importance to every human being.

2. Weight or consequence in the scale of being.

Thy own importance know.

Nor bound thy narrow views to things below.

3. Weight or consequence in self-estimation.

He believes himself a man of importance.

4. Thing implied; matter; subject; importunity. [In these senses, obsolete.]

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compaction

COMPACTION, n. The act of making compact; or the state of being compact.

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