All Words > Assay

Thursday, October 28

Assay

[ah-SEY]

Part of speech: verb

Origin: French, 14th century

1.

Determine the content or quality of (a metal or ore).

2.

Examine (something) in order to assess its nature.

Examples of Assay in a sentence

"Herman assayed the ring to determine if it was white gold."

"Will wanted to assay his new computer to learn how to build it."

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About Assay

This word stems from the Anglo-French “assaier,” from the Old French “assai,” which is a variant of “essai,” meaning “trial.”

Did you Know?

“Assay” is easily confused with “essay,” not only because they look alike but because they have the same root, the Middle French “essai.” At one point, they were synonyms, but now, most people associate the noun “essay” with the papers they were assigned in school.

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