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to examine or analyze:
to assay a situation; to assay an event.
Metallurgy. to analyze (an ore, alloy, etc.) in order to determine the quantity of gold, silver, or other metal in it.
Pharmacology. to subject (a drug) to an analysis for the determination of its potency or composition.
to judge the quality of; assess; evaluate:
to assay someone’s efforts.
to try or test; put to trial:
to assay one’s strength; to assay one’s debating abilities.
to attempt; try; essay:
to assay a dance step.
to contain, as shown by analysis, a certain proportion of usually precious metal.
Metallurgy. determination of the amount of metal, especially gold or silver, in an ore, alloy, etc.
a substance undergoing analysis or trial.
a detailed report of the findings in assaying a substance.
Archaic. examination; trial; attempt; essay.
Contemporary Examples

But the next afternoon, and perhaps the next, we would return to the same cruxes, and often assay the same options.
Remembering Dmitri Nabokov, the Novelist’s Son and Literary Executor Brian Boyd May 9, 2012

Historical Examples

I threw it into the fuming nitrous acid to assay it, and there arising a little effervescence, I added distilled water thereon.
Buffon’s Natural History. Volume X (of 10) Georges Louis Leclerc de Buffon

I’ve seen him like this before—the night he shot our own men in the assay office.
The La Chance Mine Mystery Susan Carleton Jones

This coating is white in the centre, and grey towards the edges, and is found some distance from the assay.
A System of Instruction in the Practical Use of the Blowpipe Anonymous

assay has gone through the fragments literally piece by piece.
Gold in the Sky Alan Edward Nourse

The assay is doubtless correct, but the deductions therefrom are most misleading.
Getting Gold J. C. F. Johnson

I understand that the assay indicates it is a valuable find.
Frank Merriwell’s Triumph Burt L. Standish

At the same time it yields considerable vapor, and deposits an incrustation around the assay.
A System of Instruction in the Practical Use of the Blowpipe Anonymous

The temperature necessary for the success of an assay is about 150° of Wedgewood.
A Dictionary of Arts, Manufactures and Mines Andrew Ure

And all the barons came thither, that whoever would might assay to take the sword.
Stories of King Arthur and His Knights U. Waldo Cutler

verb (əˈseɪ)
to subject (a substance, such as silver or gold) to chemical analysis, as in the determination of the amount of impurity
(transitive) to attempt (something or to do something)
(transitive; may take a clause as object) to test, analyse, or evaluate: to assay the significance of early childhood experience
noun (əˈseɪ; ˈæseɪ)

an analysis, esp a determination of the amount of metal in an ore or the amounts of impurities in a precious metal
(as modifier): an assay office

a substance undergoing an analysis
a written report on the results of an analysis
a test
(archaic) an attempt

c.1300, “to try, endeavor, strive; test the quality of,” from Anglo-French assaier, from assai (n.), from Old French essai “trial” (see essay).

“trial, test of quality, test of character,” mid-14c., from Anglo-French assai (see assay (v.)). Meaning “analysis” is from late 14c.

assay as·say (ās’ā’, ā-sā’)

Qualitative or quantitative analysis of a substance, especially of an ore or a drug, to determine its components.

A substance to be so analyzed.

The result of such an analysis.

An analysis or examination.

v. as·sayed, as·say·ing, as·says (ā-sā’, ās’ā’)

To subject a substance to chemical analysis.

To examine a person’s capability by trial or experiment; put to a test.

To evaluate a situation; assess.

To attempt; try.

To be shown by analysis to contain a certain proportion of atoms, molecules, compounds, or precious metal.

(ās’ā, ə-sā’)

A quantitative determination of the amount of a given substance in a particular sample. Assays are regularly used to determine the purity of precious metals. They can be performed by wet methods or dry methods. In the wet method, the sample is dissolved in a reagent, like an acid, until the purified metal is separated out. In the dry method, the sample is mixed with a flux (a substance such as borax or silica that helps lower the melting temperature) and then heated to the point where impurities in the metal fuse with the flux, leaving the purified metal as a residue.

A bioassay.


Read Also:

  • Assay cup

    a small wine cup for tasting wine to be offered to another person.

  • Assay groove

    (in silverwork) a furrow left in a piece by the digging out of metal for assay.

  • Assay office

    a local testing station for assaying ore, as gold or silver, especially a government station maintained in connection with the registration of mineral claims, purchases of gold, or the like. Historical Examples There is little left here, though the assay office, built up against a massive square rock still stands. The Lake of the Sky […]

  • Assay ton

    a unit of weight used in assaying ore, equivalent to 29.167 grams. Historical Examples Even if half an assay ton has been taken the only calculation needed is multiplying the milligrams by two. A Textbook of Assaying: For the Use of Those Connected with Mines. Cornelius Beringer and John Jacob Beringer See note 27, p. […]

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