experiment

1 of 2

noun

ex·​per·​i·​ment ik-ˈsper-ə-mənt How to pronounce experiment (audio)
also
-ˈspir- How to pronounce experiment (audio)
1
a
: test, trial
make another experiment of his suspicion William Shakespeare
b
: a tentative procedure or policy
c
: an operation or procedure carried out under controlled conditions in order to discover an unknown effect or law, to test or establish a hypothesis, or to illustrate a known law
2
obsolete : experience
3
: the process of testing : experimentation

experiment

2 of 2

verb

ex·​per·​i·​ment ik-ˈsper-ə-ˌment How to pronounce experiment (audio)
 also  -ˈspir
experimented; experimenting; experiments

intransitive verb

: to carry out experiments : try out a new procedure, idea, or activity
experimentation
ik-ˌsper-ə-mən-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce experiment (audio)
-ˌmen-
 also  -ˌspir-
noun
experimenter
ik-ˈsper-ə-ˌmen-tər How to pronounce experiment (audio)
 also  -ˈspir-
noun

Example Sentences

Noun Students will carry out simple laboratory experiments. They did some experiments with magnets. These theories have not yet been confirmed by experiment. an experiment in living more frugally the city's experiment with a longer school year
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
To prove that primates were quietly climbing and leaping to pounce on unsuspecting prey, the researchers ran an experiment with squirrels—some with intact claws, some of which had been trimmed. Riley Black, Smithsonian Magazine, 14 Nov. 2022 As more businesses across America experiment with a four-day workweek, one Miami-area restaurant owner is taking the concept even further. Irina Ivanova, CBS News, 7 Nov. 2022 Letting states experiment with different approaches to the minimum wage, taxes, and health care is part of what makes America great. Patrick T. Brown, CNN, 2 Nov. 2022 Now is the time to discover your new favorite veggies and experiment with different cooking methods (air fryer, anyone?)! Trish Clasen Marsanico, Good Housekeeping, 31 Oct. 2022 Three years ago, an experiment with the RIKEN center’s particle accelerator, a superconducting cyclotron called the Radioactive Isotope Beam Factory, produced a tantalizing hint of a single sodium-39 nucleus. Byadrian Cho, science.org, 26 Oct. 2022 The study proved this point: Researchers also did the experiment with mosquitoes whose genes were edited to damage their sense of smell. Maddie Burakoff, Anchorage Daily News, 18 Oct. 2022 Afterward, Germany’s over 50-year-long experiment with atomic energy comes to a likely end just three months longer than planned. Christiaan Hetzner, Fortune, 18 Oct. 2022 Brewer is also starting an experiment with mosquitoes. Ula Chrobak, Scientific American, 14 Oct. 2022
Verb
Isioma started to experiment with music at age 16, influenced by artists like Paramore and Chief Keef. Tiana Randall, Vogue, 9 Nov. 2022 As an artist who’s interested in the justice system and poetry, my goal is to not be afraid of failure but to experiment with it. Nick Hornby, WSJ, 8 Nov. 2022 Andy Cohen is ready to experiment with his baby girl's look. Angela Andaloro, Peoplemag, 7 Nov. 2022 Twelve of the 15 Trojans measure between 6-4 and 6-8, giving Walker plenty of lineup combinations to experiment with during the early part of his team's schedule. Mitchell Gladstone, Arkansas Online, 7 Nov. 2022 In the new reality of today’s world of work, companies need to experiment with flexible work arrangements or risk losing employees to companies that do. The Salt Lake Tribune, 4 Nov. 2022 Listeners immediately hear a new Dead Kennedys — faster, more musical and more willing to experiment than the group’s prior releases. Ryan Ritchie, Los Angeles Times, 2 Nov. 2022 But if ever there is a season to experiment as a potential stop-gap in case of foul trouble, this is it due to the limited roster. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, 2 Nov. 2022 In addition to six different rhythms, there are also sound effects and loops for kids to experiment with — and a volume control for the adults. Jamie Spain And Rachel Rothman, Good Housekeeping, 31 Oct. 2022 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English, "testing, proof, remedy," borrowed from Anglo-French esperiment, borrowed from Latin experīmentum "testing, experience, proof," from experīrī "to put to the test, attempt, have experience of, undergo" + -mentum -ment — more at experience entry 1

Verb

verbal derivative of experiment entry 1

First Known Use

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1787, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of experiment was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near experiment

Cite this Entry

“Experiment.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/experiment. Accessed 27 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

experiment 1 of 2

noun

ex·​per·​i·​ment ik-ˈsper-ə-mənt How to pronounce experiment (audio)
: test entry 1 sense 1, trial entry 1 sense 1
especially : a procedure or operation carried out under controlled conditions in order to discover something, to test a hypothesis, or to serve as an example

experiment

2 of 2

verb

ex·​per·​i·​ment ik-ˈsper-ə-ˌment How to pronounce experiment (audio)
: to make experiments
experimentation noun

Medical Definition

experiment 1 of 2

noun

ex·​per·​i·​ment
ik-ˈsper-ə-mənt also -ˈspir-
1
: a procedure carried out under controlled conditions in order to discover an unknown effect or law, to test or establish a hypothesis, or to illustrate a known law
2
: the process of testing : experimentation

experiment

2 of 2

intransitive verb

ex·​per·​i·​ment -ˌment How to pronounce experiment (audio)
: to carry out experiments

More from Merriam-Webster on experiment

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