clinical trial


Definition of clinical trial

: a scientifically controlled study of the safety and effectiveness of a therapeutic agent (such as a drug or vaccine) using consenting human subjects

Examples of clinical trial in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Its drug candidates include treatments in clinical trials for frontotemporal dementia, caused by loss of neurons in the frontal lobes, and Alzheimer’s disease. Brian Gormley, WSJ, "Biotech Startup Alector Announces IPO Plans," 7 Jan. 2019 This could all change if a new topical gel birth control for men makes it through clinical trials, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and announced this week. Alexis Jones, Marie Claire, "This New Topical Gel Birth Control For Men Could Change Everything," 30 Nov. 2018 Scientists at the University of Washington and Harbor-UCLA are running clinical trials for other methods—a pill, a transdermal gel, and an injection—that would temporarily inhibit sperm production. Danielle Friedman, Glamour, "Why Male Birth Control Should Exist, According to These Four Men," 20 Aug. 2018 The blood test is still in the study phase and will be in clinical trials for the next three to five years, Zaenker says. Macaela Mackenzie, Allure, "Melanoma Skin Cancer May Be Detected Early with a New Blood Test, Study Finds," 20 July 2018 Vice President Mike Pence was also a champion for the Right to Try legislation and teamed up with Indianapolis second grader Jordan McLinn, who is taking part in a clinical trial for a drug to treat his form of muscular dystrophy. Kaitlin Lange, Indianapolis Star, "Trump to sign 'big legislation' that Donnelly helped craft, including Right to Try bill," 24 May 2018 His company is working on a clinical trial focused on narcolepsy, to better measure anecdotal reports that the compound keeps users awake. Amanda Chicago Lewis, WSJ, "Not Everybody Must Get Stoned: Pot’s Nonintoxicating Future," 25 Oct. 2018 My oncologist was able to quickly get me into a clinical trial that increased my survival rate by 40%. Pearce Quesenberry, Teen Vogue, "Teenage Brain Cancer Survivor Pearce Quesenberry Shares Her Experience," 7 Sep. 2018 There’s a simple way to double or even triple your company’s stock price overnight: announce positive results from a clinical trial involving a drug to treat the fatty liver disease known as NASH. Adam Feuerstein, STAT, "Questionable data aside, Galmed Pharma soars in a fatty liver stock bubble," 12 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'clinical trial.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of clinical trial

1946, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about clinical trial

Share clinical trial

Statistics for clinical trial

Last Updated

17 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for clinical trial

The first known use of clinical trial was in 1946

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for clinical trial

clinical trial


Medical Definition of clinical trial

: a scientifically controlled study of the safety and effectiveness of a therapeutic agent (as a drug or vaccine) using consenting human subjects

More from Merriam-Webster on clinical trial Encyclopedia article about clinical trial

Comments on clinical trial

What made you want to look up clinical trial? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to gather or build up little by little

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!