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 How to pronounce experiment (audio) 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 How to pronounce experiment (audio) , -​ˌmen-​ also  -​ˌspir-​ \ noun
experimenter \ ik-​ˈsper-​ə-​ˌmen-​tər How to pronounce experiment (audio) also  -​ˈspir-​ \ noun

Synonyms for experiment

Synonyms: Noun

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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 This experiment was later replicated in a large study in Japan, indicating that the finding is robust across cultures. Baland Jalal, Scientific American, 7 Sep. 2021 But while the park service and Game and Fish have set goals for this experiment and are allowing each hunter to shoot one bison, there are no guarantees. Shanti Lerner, The Arizona Republic, 27 Aug. 2021 In fact, this experiment could help guide future strategies regarding mosquito control. Abigail Adams, PEOPLE.com, 25 Aug. 2021 And Afghans like my friend, who bought into this vast nation-building experiment, will end up being the biggest losers. NBC News, 13 Aug. 2021 And last year, Notaro found herself in a surreal setting, poised to pitch this experiment again. Washington Post, 23 July 2021 While astronauts have previously harvested veggies such as lettuce and radishes, this experiment could give astronauts something to satisfy their menu fatigue. Rachel Trent, CNN, 18 July 2021 The program running this experiment has a tongue-in-cheek name: Dragracer. Author: Samantha Masunaga, Anchorage Daily News, 6 July 2021 This science experiment will teach visitors how to create sand that repels water. Arkansas Online, 6 July 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Customers can experiment with the world’s leading beauty brands, such as Maybelline, L’Oréal Paris, Lancôme, Giorgio Armani, Yves Saint Laurent, and Urban Decay. Bernard Marr, Forbes, 13 Sep. 2021 Thompson said she's started to experiment with beauty, like growing out her nails and playing with long lashes. Kaitlyn Frey, PEOPLE.com, 25 Aug. 2021 Test beds give more companies—from student start-ups to large corporations—the chance to experiment, fail and succeed without getting buried in exorbitant costs, slow research iterations and other time-prohibitive processes. Daniel T. Schwartz, Scientific American, 24 Aug. 2021 South Alabama continues to experiment with several different offensive line combinations, with at least two players seeing snaps at multiple positions. Creg Stephenson | Cstephenson@al.com, al, 19 Aug. 2021 Larson is the latest best-selling author to experiment with a stand-alone audiobook, as sales of digital audio continue to rise. New York Times, 29 July 2021 Often at great expense, artists would experiment with concept and hire Hollywood directors. Jon Wertheim, Vulture, 25 June 2021 At the animation station, kids (and adults!) can experiment with making their own movies using a variety of background scenes and props. BostonGlobe.com, 23 June 2021 Next year, Kickstarter, the 12-year-old crowdfunding platform, will experiment with a four-day workweek, a spokesperson for the company told The Atlantic. Joe Pinsker, The Atlantic, 22 June 2021

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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Time Traveler for experiment

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near experiment

experiential time

experiment

experimental

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Statistics for experiment

Last Updated

16 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Experiment.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/experiment. Accessed 26 Sep. 2021.

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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 experiment (audio) \ noun
experimenter \ -​ˈsper-​ə-​ˌment-​ər also -​ˈspir-​ How to pronounce experiment (audio) \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on experiment

Nglish: Translation of experiment for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of experiment for Arabic Speakers

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