Definition of essay
1 a : an analytic or interpretative literary composition usually dealing with its subject from a limited or personal point of view
b : something resembling such a composition a photographic essay
2 a : effort , attempt especially : an initial tentative effort
b : the result or product of an attempt
3 : a proof of an unaccepted design for a stamp or piece of paper money
4 obsolete : trial , test
Definition of essay (Entry 2 of 2)
1 : to make an often tentative or experimental effort to perform : try
2 : to put to a test
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Other words from essay
Synonyms for essay
Choose the Right Synonym for essay
attempt, try, endeavor, essay, strive mean to make an effort to accomplish an end. attempt stresses the initiation or beginning of an effort. will attempt to photograph the rare bird try is often close to attempt but may stress effort or experiment made in the hope of testing or proving something. tried to determine which was the better procedure endeavor heightens the implications of exertion and difficulty. endeavored to find crash survivors in the mountains essay implies difficulty but also suggests tentative trying or experimenting. will essay a dramatic role for the first time strive implies great exertion against great difficulty and specifically suggests persistent effort. continues to strive for peace
Examples of essay in a Sentence
Your assignment is to write a 500-word essay on one of Shakespeare’s sonnets. The book is a collection of his previously unpublished essays on a variety of topics.
There is no hint as to which of the approaches essayed in this book will prove most useful. he had been in gymnastics for some time before he even considered essaying that move
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun
After my essay was published in The Washington Post, the worldwide media attention came quickly. — Amanda Needham, chicagotribune. com, «Remember when I painted a huge note for the thief who stole my bike? Here’s how the story ends.,» 10 July 2018 After my essay was published in The Washington Post, the worldwide media attention came quickly. — Amanda Needham, Washington Post, «Remember when I painted a huge note for the thief who stole my bike? Here’s how the story ends.,» 3 July 2018 Franzen’s sales are dropping, but not because of his essays about birding. — Alex Shephard, The New Republic, «The fate of literary publishing in the twenty-first century, in three numbers.,» 26 June 2018 In her essay, McIntosh even explains that she was meant to remain oblivious to it. — Michael Harriot, The Root, «A Thank-You Letter to Kim Kardashian for Proving White Privilege Is Real,» 7 June 2018 Her essays are both grounded in particulars—there are ruminations on Katherine Mansfield, arm hair, and the oppression of attempting to work in the same space as someone else—and universal. — Chloe Schama, Vogue, «13 Books to Thrill, Entertain, and Sustain You This Summer,» 30 May 2018 Photo essays of sprawling lots of abandoned bikes in China, or bikes hanging from trees or sunk in creeks in Washington, DC or Dallas, are popular online clickbait. — Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, «Uber acquires dockless bike-share startup Jump,» 9 Apr. 2018 Her essay has been read more than 410,000 times on the Odyssey website. — Lisa Gutierrez, kansascity, «Missouri State student gets vicious feedback on essay to her fiance’s prom date | The Kansas City Star,» 6 Apr. 2018 About 60 students typically write essays in hopes of participating in the seminar of about 14 people. — Susan Svrluga, Washington Post, «Tolstoy behind bars: Why U-Va. students are reading Russian literature in a prison,» 5 July 2018
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb
But country twang is her guiding principle, and her songs vividly essay failed and burgeoning relationships. — Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader, «Whitney Rose enfolds bits of Tex-Mex and 60s pop into her lush, retro-tinged sound,» 5 July 2018 Specifically, documentaries essaying one particularly magnetic celebrity personality, or a singularly gripping tale. — David Sims, The Atlantic, «What’s Driving Documentaries to Box-Office Success?,» 11 July 2018 In 2011, Waller shifted her focus to essay and fiction writing and founded Crooked Door Storytelling, a Fine Arts consulting company that offers story programs, public speaking training and creative writing workshops to students and professionals. — Chicago Tribune, chicagotribune. com, «Algren Award runner-up: «Here Is Where the Taxi Driver Set His Wife on Fire» by GKS Waller,» 2 June 2018 Few records fully and frankly essay the realistic ups-and-downs of a young man’s fancy as has Khalid Robinson’s American Teen. — Philly. com, «Memorial Day fireworks, Sail Philadelphia, Devon Horse Show, and other events in Philadelphia, May 25-June 1,» 24 May 2018 Meghan recalled in her Elle essay how her seventh grade English teacher told her to check the box for Caucasian on a mandatory census. — Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, «What Is Meghan Markle’s Relationship With Her Dad, Thomas Markle?,» 9 May 2018 Titanic, however, is no soulless junket into techno-glop wizardry but rather a complex and radiant tale that essays both mankind’s destructive arrogance and its noble endurance. — Thr Staff, The Hollywood Reporter, «‘Titanic’: THR’s 1997 Review,» 19 Dec. 2017 That combination is perfectly suited to his Christmas Tree-O project, which sanguinely essays holiday themes—both classic and schmaltzy—with gusto and ardor. — Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader, «Drummer Matt Wilson’s Christmas Tree-O deftly walks the line between sincerity and kitsch with its stroll through holiday hits,» 8 Dec. 2017 Daria channeled her struggle into a college admissions essay that talks about losing herself in literature to cope with moving from hotel room to hotel room after Sandy. — Megan Friedman, Seventeen, «This Incredible Girl Bounced Back From a Hurricane to Get Into 7 Ivy League Schools,» 20 Apr. 2015
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word ‘essay.’ Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
First Known Use of essay
14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4
14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2
Essay spanish translation
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Using Quotations in Your Essay
Many students tend to overuse direct quotations in their essays. Direct quotations should be used only when paraphrasing would change the effectiveness or meaning of the author’s words or when the author is a noted authority and the idea could not be better expressed or said more succinctly. Although quotations are common in essays in the humanities, they are used less extensively in the social sciences, and rarely in scientific writing.
NOTE: Remember that you must reference the use of someone else’s ideas or findings as well as direct quotations. (For more information on how to reference, see the informatin on the series on referencing styles.) The information in this Fastfacts handout is based on the MLA style, established by the Modern Language Association for referencing in the arts.
Using Quotations in Your Essay
- Introduce the quotation with your own words and integrate it grammatically into the sentence.
- in square brackets if within the quotation
- Use commas after an explanatory tag such as he said, she explained, they wrote, etc. e. g.,
- Commas and periods are placed inside the final quotation mark.
- Include within the text and use quotation marks around four lines or fewer of prose or three lines or fewer of poetry (use a slash (/) with a space on each side to signify the end of each line of poetry).
Smith explains the use of essay-writing terminology:
NOTE: If the first line of the quotation is the first line of a paragraph, indent an additional quarter inch only if you are quoting several of the original paragraphs.
Bogel states, «Campaign slogans, for example, are often built on this presumed correlation of form with meaning, as in the hopeful phrase ‘Win with Willkie,’ which sought to connect victory with the candidate by means of alliterative bonding» (168).
- To omit a line or more of a poem, use one full line of periods.
But of course these two «arguments»—that figurative language is necessary to define democracy, and that democracy permits such luxuries as figurative language — are really two faces of a single argument, an argument defining democracy, in part, as that form of government which recognizes the necessity of certain luxuries.
Bogel also claims that «these two ‘arguments’ [. ] are really two faces of a single argument» (172) in spite of evidence to the contrary.
Bogel also claims that «these two ‘arguments’. are really two faces of a single argument. «3
Bogel also claims that «these two ‘arguments’. are really two faces of a single argument. » (172).
For more details on using quotations, refer to the following:Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 6th ed. New York: The Modern Language Association of America, 2003.