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assay (verb) analyze; attempt.
When we test an ore or a metal for its purity, we assay it. When we analyze a person's conduct or character, we assay the person. To attempt something is also to assay it. When you try to scale a mountain, you assay to climb it up.
- His attempt to scale such a steep cliff is really assaying what appears to be impossible, though the attempt deserves all encouragement.
- An assay of the ore revealed a rich content of the metal in it.