experiment

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

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 \
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 , -​ˌmen-​ also  -​ˌspir-​ \ noun
experimenter \ ik-​ˈsper-​ə-​ˌmen-​tər 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

But the bigger question the Seattle experiment poses: Can small money become a dominant force in American politics? Sarah Kliff, Vox, "Seattle’s radical plan to fight big money in politics," 5 Nov. 2018 Chang wants to abort the experiment—now—midway through a lap of the restaurant. Alex Bhattacharji, WSJ, "David Chang’s Culinary Universe Is Still Growing," 2 Nov. 2018 The exact experiments that the supercomputer will run in the next few months have not yet been disclosed. Mary Beth Griggs, The Verge, "A supercomputer on the ISS will soon be open for science experiments," 1 Nov. 2018 Lee and Kristin Zhao, who directs Mayo's assistive and restorative laboratory, decided to repeat the experiment — and Chinnock's success surprised them. Fox News, "Paralyzed patients take first steps after implant, intense rehab," 25 Sep. 2018 So, iPhones, unfortunately, are just much harder to work with, much harder to set up these kind of automated testing apparatuses at scale and much, much harder to collect all the apps necessary to kind of feed the experiments. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Your phone is not secretly spying on your conversations. It doesn’t need to.," 20 July 2018 Throughout the experiments, the poll numbers were fabricated for purposes of experimental control. Benjamin Toff, Washington Post, "How worried are you about an impending trade war? That might depend on what your fellow party members think," 12 July 2018 The experiment with bungee jumpers suggest that people with higher levels of endorphins feel higher levels of euphoria. Richard Stephens, Smithsonian, "The History and Psychology of Roller Coasters," 12 July 2018 The experiment would help develop procedures so astronauts can adapt to the Red Planet after months of voyaging in microgravity, press secretary Oleg Voloshin told me on June 1 while giving me a tour. Elizabeth Howell, Space.com, "Touring Where the Mars-500 'Astronauts' Pretended to Take a Red Planet Journey," 11 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

While your friends are off experimenting with the Whole30 plan or dabbling in the keto diet, here’s a refreshing bit of pro-carb news: Eating pasta has been linked with losing weight in a new study. Sarah Klein, Health.com, "Pasta Was Linked to Weight Loss in a New Study–and We Know What We’re Having for Dinner Tonight," 3 Apr. 2018 Milk Mantra is experimenting with a home-delivery service—this time with an online subscription plan for customers who want regular deliveries of its products. Bill Spindle, WSJ, "A Milk Startup Takes On 300 Million Cows," 7 July 2018 In its efforts to drive down the cost of education, SNHU is experimenting with the use of artificial intelligence to conduct initial reviews of student work. Deirdre Fernandes, BostonGlobe.com, "An education in hope," 7 July 2018 After his regular 10-person staff leaves for the day at 6 p.m., Mr. Sareshwala said, the plant is experimenting with slowing down the machines and letting them run unattended for four more hours. Patricia Cohen, New York Times, "Tariffs? Time for a Plan B: ‘Gobble Up Every Bit of Material That I Can’," 5 July 2018 Los Angeles Times As Hollywood grapples with persistent criticism over its lack of diversity, major studios are experimenting with new ways to recruit students from underserved communities. Shelby Grad, latimes.com, "Essential California: The drug war implications of Mexico going to the polls," 30 June 2018 Some retailers are experimenting with blue lights to prevent drug users from shooting up in their restrooms. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: A poll commissioned by Bush and Biden shows Americans losing confidence in democracy," 26 June 2018 Tim Hortons is experimenting with all-day breakfast in some locations in Canada, and may expand it to others if the trial goes well. Leslie Patton, chicagotribune.com, "McDonald's wants to win breakfast by selling the best part of the muffin," 26 June 2018 And this year, Jackson Family is experimenting with the new California Certified Sustainable logo on a handful of 2017 wines, including two that have been released already, a Matanzas Creek Sauvignon Blanc and a Cambria Estate Viognier. Esther Mobley, SFChronicle.com, "California wine’s sustainability dilemma," 22 June 2018

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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Last Updated

15 Nov 2018

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 \

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 \
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 \

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-​ \ noun
experimenter \ -​ˈsper-​ə-​ˌment-​ər also -​ˈspir-​ \ noun

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