Definition of assay in English:

assay

noun

  • 1[mass noun] The testing of a metal or ore to determine its ingredients and quality:

    ‘submission of plate for assay’
    evaluation, assessment, analysis, examination, test, trial, check, inspection, appraisal, investigation, scrutiny, probe
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    1. 1.1[count noun] A procedure for measuring the biochemical or immunological activity of a sample:
      ‘each assay was performed in duplicate’
      • ‘In contrast, electron transfer assays tell a different story.’
      • ‘All cholesterol assays measure the total cell cholesterol, so it is not possible to distinguish between plasma membrane cholesterol and intracellular cholesterol.’
      • ‘These results were also shown for growth hormone assays using this procedure.’
      • ‘Establishing assays to measure these variables is critical for the development of effective PDT protocols.’
      • ‘The supernatants were used for assays of enzyme activity.’
      • ‘Motility assays were performed as described before.’
      • ‘Cell adhesion assays were performed essentially as described.’
      • ‘All assays were performed in duplicate or triplicate.’
      • ‘Clonal assays were performed as described previously with the following minor modifications.’
      • ‘Clotting assays measure only the fibrinogen that is able to functionally participate in clot formation.’
      • ‘The researchers say that this enables the coded particles to perform thousands of biochemical assays in a small beaker or a Petri dish.’
      • ‘This warns against inadvertent overestimation due to the original sampling procedure in experimental assays.’
      • ‘The RNGF was subjected to several biochemical and biological assays.’
      • ‘There is no need to routinely perform protein C antigenic assays.’
      • ‘Plasma ascorbate concentrations were measured using enzymatic colorimetric assays.’
      • ‘Compared with other genotoxicity tests, the comet assay is a cheap and simple method.’
      • ‘None of the antigenic assays can measure the functional activity of the protein.’
      • ‘This region was defined using independent methodologies of 2-hybrid assays and biochemical pull-down assays.’
      • ‘Given that these results were taken from serum assays, it is possible that significant local increases were reflected in only small changes in the serum.’
      • ‘It follows that detection of oxidative modification of biomolecules is dependent on the assays to measure such damage.’

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Determine the content or quality of (a metal or ore):

    ‘the man who assayed gold was more than a technician’
    • ‘No information was available on the mineralogy of the mine beyond the metals assayed during exploration.’
    • ‘Captain Lewis now planned to build a furnace for the purpose of assaying the ore.’
    • ‘The bank is to set up a separate unit, SBI Gold and Precious Metals, to assay the gold and jewellery brought in as deposits.’
    • ‘Some of the copper ore was assayed in England leading to the formation of a London mining association made up of ten members, each promising to invest $2,000 for further prospecting on the property.’
    1. 1.1 Determine the biochemical or immunological activity of (a sample):
      ‘cell contents were assayed for enzyme activity’
      • ‘The samples were assayed for CHH by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.’
      • ‘The cells were cloned and assayed for cytokine activity.’
      • ‘The supernatant was assayed for the determination of glycerol as just described for triglycerides.’
      • ‘Solubilized samples were assayed for total protein content using the EZQ Protein Quantitation Kit (Molecular Probes, Eugene, OR).’
      • ‘Nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide were chemically assayed as nitrite from sorbent tubes by using spectrophotometry.’
    2. 1.2 Examine (something) in order to assess its nature:
      ‘stepping inside, I quickly assayed the clientele’
      • ‘In addition, the quality of the fit can easily be assayed by measuring how well the current transient conforms to an exponential time course.’
      • ‘After lunch we assayed the Chateau itself and managed to complete tours of both the State and Private Apartments which were only slightly distinguishable in terms of their magnificence.’
      • ‘There were about a hundred souls assembled, and Jeffrey's seasoned eye assayed the political temper of the throng.’
      • ‘On those rare occasions when he assays an argument, it's indisputable that nothing will ever rescue him from mediocrity.’
      • ‘We assay variation in a natural population to assess whether microsatellite markers can be informative for future studies in this species.’
      • ‘‘My training in music helped me a lot in assaying the role’, he remarks.’
      • ‘He applies one of the best known tests for assaying the rightness or wrongness of acts called the golden rule, expressing this as, ‘would I submit my own children for this immunisation if they were currently at that age?’’
      • ‘Transcription rates were assayed using nuclear run-on analyses as previously described.’
      evaluate, assess, analyse, examine, test, check, inspect, appraise, investigate, scrutinize, probe
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  • 2archaic Attempt:

    ‘I assayed a little joke of mine on him’
    • ‘Point made, he assays a few kicks in the air and brings it home: ‘Turn it up now!’’
    try, strive, aim, venture, endeavour, seek, set out, do one's best, do all one can, do one's utmost, make an effort, make every effort, spare no effort, give one's all, take it on oneself
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Origin

Middle English (in the general sense ‘testing, or a test of, the merit of someone or something’): from Old French assai (noun), assaier (verb), variant of essai trial, essayer to try (see essay).

Pronunciation:

assay

/əˈseɪ/