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assay sb. (cf. the vb.; 3 was in use down to 1700)
1. trial, test Meas. III. i. 162, Tim. IV. iii. 408, Ham. II. i. 65 “with assays of bias,” Oth. I. iii. 18 “By no assay of reason.”
2. effort Mac. IV. iii. 143 “The great assay of art.”
3. attack, assault H5 I. ii. 151 (“essays”†), Ham. II. ii. 71 “To give the assay of arms.”
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