Assay - (Webster's 1828 Dictionary)
ASSA'Y, n. [L. sequor; assequor, to follow, to examine. See Essay.]
1. The trial of the goodness, purity, weight, value, _c. of metals or metallic substances. Any operation or experiement for ascertaining the quantity of a precious metal in an ore or mineral. Analysis is a term of more comprehensive import, extending to an examination of the nature and quantities of all parts of the compound.
2. In law, an examination of weights and measures by the standard.
3. Examination; trial; effort; first entrance upon any business; attempt. In these senses, which are found in old authors, now rarely used. [See Essay.]
4. Value; great purity. Obs.
1. To try or prove, by examination or experiment, the quantity and purity of metallic substances.
2. To apply to the touchstone.
ASSA'Y, v.i. To attempt, try or endeavor.
He assayed to go. 1 Sam 17.
[In this sense essay is now used.]