Topic: LAW

Date: 1400-1500
Language: Anglo-French
Origin: trier; TRY1


1 noun
tri‧al1 S3 W2


[uncountable and countable]SCL a legal process in which a judge and often a jury in a court of law examine information to decide whether someone is guilty of a crime [↪ try]:
a murder trial
on trial (for something) (=being judged in a court of law for)
Brady was on trial for assault.
The men are due to stand trial (=be judged in a court of law) on a drugs charge.
The defendant has a right to a fair trial.
go/come to trial (=begin being judged in a court of law)
By the time the case comes to trial, he will have spent a year in prison.
bring somebody to trial
Thirty police officers were brought to trial.
Murphy sat in a prison cell awaiting trial (=waiting for his trial to begin).
show trial


[uncountable and countable] a process of testing to find out whether something works effectively and is safe:
a new drug that is undergoing clinical trials

try somebody/something

[uncountable and countable] a short period during which you use or do something or employ someone to find out whether they are satisfactory for a particular purpose or job [↪ try]
on trial
They let me have the computer on trial for thirty days.
The security system will be reviewed after a three-month trial period.
Smith was hired on a six-month trial basis.
trial separation (=a period of time in which a husband and wife do not live together, to find out whether they want to stay married)

by/through trial and error

if you do something by trial and error, you test many different methods of doing something in order to find the best:
I learned most of what I know about gardening through trial and error.


[countable usually plural] something that is difficult to deal with, and that is worrying or annoying [↪ trying]:
the daily trials of living in a poor country
be a trial (to/for somebody)
My brothers and I were always a real trial to my parents.
the trials and tribulations of running a business



[plural] British EnglishDS a special sports competition in which people who want to be on a team are tested, so that the best can be chosen [= tryout American English]
horse/sheepdog trials (=a sporting competition in which horses or dogs compete)

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