NounHuman 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 2008Almost 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. 2007Many of his students have plenty of life experience but … never mastered the academic stuff at school.—Daryl Crimp, New Zealand Geographic, March/April 2007In 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 2007Literary 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
The best way to learn is by experience.
We need someone with experience.
She gained a lot of experience at that job.
I know that from personal experience.
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. VerbPerforming 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 2008Of 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 2008I 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
That was one of the worst days I've ever experienced.
The patient has been experiencing pain in her left shoulder. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Tangram requires overseas businesses to advertise in English on menus and storefront signs, Lee said, which helps create a more inclusive experience for non-Chinese shoppers.—Claire Wang, NBC News, 8 Sep. 2023 In between Buffalo and Kansas City, the Chargers travel to face the Broncos, which has not been a profitable experience for this franchise of late.—Jeff Miller, Los Angeles Times, 8 Sep. 2023 The grants will be used to fund more than 20 unique and innovative learning experiences created by teachers.—John Benson, cleveland, 8 Sep. 2023 The Takeaway All three of the defense contractors jockeying to build the Navy’s next-generation fighter have the experience to build the plane.—Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, 8 Sep. 2023 While this brief offers the ultimate shaping experience, there are some caveats.—Courtney Leiva, Peoplemag, 8 Sep. 2023 Taking care of yourself and others is intrinsic to the experience.—Katie Bain, Billboard, 8 Sep. 2023 Alabama announced an enhancement to mobile ticketing this year called ALL-IN-1, a smart ticket that simplifies the digital wallet experience.—Ben Flanagan | Bflanagan@al.com, al, 8 Sep. 2023 Lance has many physical gifts desired in quarterbacks − size, athleticism, speed, arm strength − but has not been able to stay on the field because of injury and lack of experience.—Lorenzo Reyes, USA TODAY, 28 Aug. 2023
But quiet downtown Gower, a town of about 1,500 people where $1.50 buys you a cold can of beer at happy hour, experienced little of the hubbub.—Ruth Graham, BostonGlobe.com, 9 Sep. 2023 The film details the backlash women who spoke publicly about C.K. experienced, from online harassment to dwindling work opportunities.—Rebecca Keegan, The Hollywood Reporter, 9 Sep. 2023 Here, visitors can experience the distilling process, learn about Bluffton’s history, and spend some time in the tasting room, The Sanctuary.—Lydia Mansel, Travel + Leisure, 9 Sep. 2023 Auto theft is surging nationally, but some cities, including Los Angeles, are experiencing a small decline.—Noah Bierman Los Angeles Times (tns), Arkansas Online, 9 Sep. 2023 These were honored mainly in the breach, but the dispute died down, the assembly line churned out cars, and the factory experienced no serious COVID outbreak.—Walter Isaacson, Los Angeles Times, 8 Sep. 2023 Yosemite experiences many rockfalls caused by natural processes every year, according to the National Park Service.—CBS News, 8 Sep. 2023 Even now, a few people who experienced a World War firsthand are expected to show up for the annual Military History Weekend, planned for Saturday and Sunday by the Lockport Township Park District.—Melinda Moore, Chicago Tribune, 8 Sep. 2023 That’s well off the record 100-degree day experienced last year for SDSU’s game against Arizona in Snapdragon’s debut.—Kirk Kenney, San Diego Union-Tribune, 8 Sep. 2023 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'experience.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
Middle English, borrowed from Anglo-French, borrowed from Latin experientia "testing of possibilities, participation in events, skill gained by practice," noun derivative of experient-, experiens, present participle of experīrī "to put to the test, attempt, have experience of, undergo," from ex-ex- entry 1 + -perīrī, from a presumed verbal base *per- "test, risk," perhaps going back to Indo-European *pr̥h3-i-