She has five years' experience as a computer programmer.
He wrote about his experiences as a pilot.
That experience is one I'd rather forget!
She had a frightening experience.
Human experience is the ultimate source and justification for all knowledge. Experience itself has accumulated in human memory and culture, gradually producing the methods of intelligence called “reason” and “science.” —John Shook, Free Inquiry, April/May 2008
Almost as charismatic as the ivory-bill, the California condor passed through a near-death experience and is today regaining a tentative foothold in parts of its erstwhile range. —John Terborgh, New York Review of Books, 26 Apr. 2007
Many of his students have plenty of life experience but … never mastered the academic stuff at school. —Daryl Crimp, New Zealand Geographic, March/April 2007
In the energetic, speculative, socially mobile urban society of the early 18th century, maternal impression, the idea that a child's appearance was directed by the mother's experiences, found advocates among London physicians as easily as it did among myth-fed country fold. —Miranda Seymour, New York Times Book Review, 17 June 2007
Literary London was not merely a great gathering of experiences for [Samuel] Johnson, but a veritable public stew of good words. —Andrew O'Hagan, New York Review, 27 Apr. 2006
Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin experientia act of trying, from experient-, experiens, present participle of experiri to try, from ex- + -periri (akin to periculum attempt) — more at fear
: to do or see (something) or have (something) happen to you : to feel or be affected by (something)
Full Definition of EXPERIENCE
: to learn by experience (see 1experience) <I have experienced that a landscape and the sky unfold the deepest beauty — Nathaniel Hawthorne>
: to have experience of :undergo<experienced severe hardships as a child>
See experience defined for English-language learners
Examples of EXPERIENCE
That was one of the worst days I've ever experienced.
The patient has been experiencing pain in her left shoulder.
Performing a risk-reward analysis can often clarify decisions. If the risk of a failed marriage is that you may have to experience heartache and an expensive divorce, you'd better think carefully. If the risk of a bad ski run is that you'll die, you'd better think even more carefully about what you'll gain by taking that risk. —Laurence Gonzales, National Geographic Adventure, March 2008
Of course, many reporters do their best to be accurate, but they must conform to the conventions of their craft, and there is always slippage between their choice of words and the nature of an event as experienced or perceived by others. —Robert Darnton, New York Review of Books, 12 June 2008
I spent 20-some years as a foreign correspondent and experienced my share of harrowing travel. … And unlike the brave foreign correspondents that you see on TV or read about … , I was scared silly. —P. J. O'Rourke, Forbes Life, June 2008