[ noun es-ey for 1, 2; es-ey, e-sey for 3–5; verb e-sey ]SEE DEFINITION OF essays
Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


Very wise are these essays, but their wisdom is not altogether that of this world.

Sympathizers with McClellan's essays on military or on other matters!

This is not to say that I claim success in the essays that follow.

In this duty lies my excuse for the publication of these essays.

Thus, in one way or another, almost all these essays have a value.

My publisher must take at least some of the responsibility for reviving these essays.

Since Montaigne wrote the first Essays, this Form has permeated every country.

All these in a sense testified to the influence of Addison's essays.

In his first essays he was not an inferior imitator of Addison.

On one occasion she had to read a volume of Essays written by Miss Hayes.


1590s, "short non-fiction literary composition" (first attested in writings of Francis Bacon, probably in imitation of Montaigne), from Middle French essai "trial, attempt, essay," from Late Latin exagium "a weighing, weight," from Latin exigere "test," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + agere (see act) apparently meaning here "to weigh." The suggestion is of unpolished writing.