experiment

noun
ex·​per·​i·​ment | \ ik-ˈsper-ə-mənt How to pronounce experiment (audio) also -ˈspir- How to pronounce experiment (audio) \

Definition of experiment

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : 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

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

Definition of experiment (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to carry out experiments : try out a new procedure, idea, or activity

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Other Words from experiment

Verb

experimentation \ ik-​ˌsper-​ə-​mən-​ˈtā-​shən How to pronounce experimentation (audio) , -​ˌmen-​ also  -​ˌspir-​ \ noun
experimenter \ ik-​ˈsper-​ə-​ˌmen-​tər How to pronounce experimenter (audio) also  -​ˈspir-​ \ noun

Synonyms for experiment

Synonyms: Noun

essay, experimentation, test, trial

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Examples of experiment in a Sentence

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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

And then there’s the small experiment, launched this week, dedicated to taming the wildest place in the District: the curb. Aarian Marshall, WIRED, "Hand-Crafted Bentleys, a Climate Bill, and More Car News This Week," 4 Aug. 2019 The experiment, on 48 miles of track, could shape the future of the railroad industry, which is still profitable but facing demands for speedier deliveries. Katherine Dunn, Fortune, "Boeing’s 737 Max Grounding Grinds On: CEO Daily," 29 July 2019 An experiment that will attempt to print biological tissues in space. Chabeli Herrera, orlandosentinel.com, "SpaceX plans to launch 5,000 pounds of cargo to ISS tonight. But storms may push it to August," 24 July 2019 In Judge Alm’s experiment, the probationer, prosecutor, public offender, and probation officer pre-committed to a system of frequent urinalysis, for which a positive or missed test would result in an immediate but brief stay in jail. Gabriel Rossman, National Review, "Mark Kleiman Was the Nation’s Greatest Thinker on Drug Policy," 23 July 2019 In addition to deploying a satellite on his second mission, Brown and the crew conducted numerous experiments, including growing protein crystals and studying aspects of weightlessness. Casey Smith, Indianapolis Star, "Meet these 12 astronauts — each from Indiana," 20 July 2019 Bold experiments The initiatives that Cox championed are so well mapped at this point that only a major lack of money or a big change in policy could derail them. John Gallagher, Detroit Free Press, "Maurice Cox, head of Detroit's planning efforts, resigning as of September," 19 July 2019 And so did the viability of the Revolution’s political experiment and the Founders’ republican vision. Drew Gilpin Faust, The Atlantic, "Race, History, and Memories of a Virginia Girlhood," 18 July 2019 The experiments, and von Braun’s leadership of the group, piqued the interest of the German army. Alejandro De La Garza, Time, "How Historians Are Reckoning With the Former Nazi Who Launched America's Space Program," 18 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

For the last 9½ years, Burbank has been experimenting with body-worn devices, including audio-only recorders, Albanese said. Anthony Clark Carpio, Burbank Leader, "After a successful trial, Burbank officials OK body-worn cameras for police," 3 Aug. 2019 Zargarian, the veteran Crescenta Valley High boys’ basketball coach who guided the Falcons to an amazing postseason run last season, had the ideal group on hand at his event to experiment with inside the school’s large gymnasium. Charles Rich, Glendale News-Press, "Coach Z Basketball Camp keeps plugging away on court," 29 July 2019 Having friends over gives me a chance to experiment with cooking ambitious dishes for a more-receptive- than-usual audience (i.e., humans other than my kids). Deb Perelman, Bon Appétit, "When in Doubt, These Hummus Bowls Are the Answer," 12 July 2019 Microsoft has previously experimented with more portable versions of Surface hardware, most notably the 2018 Surface Go. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft is reportedly prepping a dual-screen Surface tablet," 3 June 2019 The hope is that there's enough versatility in the bunch to experiment with lineups and play some of them together. Jason Jones, sacbee, "Marvin Bagley's talent has the Kings excited. How his addition might impact the roster," 22 June 2018 In an email to Fortune, Match Group, Tinder's owner, chalked up the change to experimenting. Xavier Harding, Fortune, "First Fortnite, Now Tinder: How Android’s Biggest Apps Are Giving Google’s Revenue Scheme the Runaround," 22 July 2019 By experimenting with how objects are used, players can come up with interesting combinations. Gieson Cacho, The Mercury News, "Review: ‘Super Mario Maker 2’ gives aspiring game designers a richer canvas," 5 July 2019 Up until then, big multinational companies had been forced to hold back from experimenting with cannabidiol, or CBD—a non-psychoactive ingredient of marijuana that’s become trendy for its claimed health benefits. Shafin Diamond Tejani, Quartz, "What Mark Twain can teach us about the weed industry," 29 June 2019

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.

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First Known Use of experiment

Noun

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

Verb

1787, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for experiment

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

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Statistics for experiment

Last Updated

9 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for experiment

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

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More Definitions for experiment

experiment

noun

English Language Learners Definition of experiment

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a scientific test in which you perform a series of actions and carefully observe their effects in order to learn about something
: something that is done as a test : something that you do to see how well or how badly it works

experiment

verb

English Language Learners Definition of experiment (Entry 2 of 2)

: to do a scientific test in which you perform a series of actions and carefully observe their effects
: to try a new activity or a new way of doing or thinking about something

experiment

noun
ex·​per·​i·​ment | \ ik-ˈsper-ə-mənt How to pronounce experiment (audio) \

Kids Definition of experiment

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a trial or test made to find out about something

experiment

verb
ex·​per·​i·​ment | \ ik-ˈsper-ə-ˌment How to pronounce experiment (audio) \
experimented; experimenting

Kids Definition of experiment (Entry 2 of 2)

: to try or test a new way, idea, or activity : to make experiments

experiment

noun
ex·​per·​i·​ment | \ ik-ˈsper-ə-mənt also -ˈspir-\

Medical Definition of experiment

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

intransitive verb
ex·​per·​i·​ment | \ -ˌment How to pronounce experiment (audio) \

Medical Definition of experiment (Entry 2 of 2)

: to carry out experiments

Other Words from experiment

experimentation \ ik-​ˌsper-​ə-​mən-​ˈtā-​shən, -​ˌmen-​ also -​ˌspir-​ How to pronounce experimentation (audio) \ noun
experimenter \ -​ˈsper-​ə-​ˌment-​ər also -​ˈspir-​ How to pronounce experimenter (audio) \ noun

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Comments on experiment

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