Pronunciation: ( —n.es'ā for 1, 2; es'ā, e-sā' for 3–5; —v. e-sā'),[key] —n. 1. a short literary composition on a particular theme or subject, usually in prose and generally analytic, speculative, or interpretative.
2. anything resembling such a composition: a picture essay. 3. an effort to perform or accomplish something; attempt.
4. Philately.a design for a proposed stamp differing in any way from the design of the stamp as issued.
5. Obs.a tentative effort; trial; assay.
—v.t. 1. to try; attempt.
2. to put to the test; make trial of.