Blasted, feeble-minded weaklings! They're all likely dead by now! Still, I must press on. My power alone should be enough to--(Ominous dark laughter echoes through the chamber.) That laughter... Is that you, Sargeras? You seek to mock me? We'll see who laughs last, demon, when I claim your burning eye for my own!

The whole context is here.

I've googled around, here and here, and found that comparing to try to, seek to implies thinking about doing something in the future rather than right now. In this context, however, Sageras is laughing, which means he is mocking the speaker right now. This is where I'm confused. Is try to more appropriate here?

  • It could be argued thar the person laughing is mocking, not trying to! I think you are reading too much into the choice of words. Commented Sep 9, 2022 at 13:10
  • @Kate Bunting To my understanding, the speaker does consider the laughter as a mocking, so from his own perspective using try to is not a problem. Correct me if I'm wrong.
    – preachers
    Commented Sep 9, 2022 at 13:18

1 Answer 1


The verb "seek" has more than one definition. The definition your Googled resources are referring to is this one:

4 : to try to acquire or gain : aim at
// seek fame

This definition is somewhat like "hope" in that it doesn't necessarily involve action yet, just having a goal, likely with the intent to take action.

But the meaning used in your quoted passage is this one:

5 : to make an attempt : try —used with to and an infinitive
// governments … seek to keep the bulk of their people contented

Definitions from Merriam-Webster

The problem here is that you found resources describing the differences between "try" and "seek", which means contrasting definition 4 to the normal meaning of "try". But "seek" can also mean the same as "try", which those resources didn't happen to include.

  • So you mean seek to is exactly equal to try to with definition #5, don' you?
    – preachers
    Commented Sep 9, 2022 at 15:09
  • @preachers Yes, that's it.
    – gotube
    Commented Sep 9, 2022 at 15:10

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