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

The experiment consisted of looking at pairs of compounds. WSJ, "Too Much Academic Science Is Bad Science," 1 Mar. 2019 The experiments that don’t work are important, too. Eliza Mcgraw, Smithsonian, "Florence Sabin Pioneered Her Way in Medical Science, Then Made Sure Other Women Could Do the Same," 6 July 2018 Mid-experiment, researchers began showing fewer threatening faces to some participants. Helen Shen, Scientific American, "The Despondent Mind: Are Our Brains Wired for Doom and Gloom?," 28 June 2018 The first-half experiment with West guarding James didn’t go so well. Al Saracevic, San Francisco Chronicle, "Warriors vs. Cavs: Five things we learned from an epic Game 1," 31 May 2018 The student debt crisis is the direct result of this failed experiment. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "Elizabeth Warren Announced a Plan to Cancel Student Loan Debts and Make Public College Free," 22 Apr. 2019 This is an instantaneous launch window, and the mission will ferry 2.5 tons of supplies to the International Space Station, including materials to support 250 experiments on the orbiting laboratory. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "SpaceX launches 2.5 tons of cargo to the ISS, but … [Updated]," 5 Dec. 2018 Munster coach Patrick Spohr isn’t a science teacher, but that never stops him from conducting experiments to find a way to make his team better. John O'malley, Post-Tribune, "Change agent: Munster's Patrick Spohr selected as the 2018 Post-Tribune Girls Tennis Coach of the Year," 2 July 2018 The track record Blanks and his colleagues have built running such experiments and working with the FAA was a key reason Virginia was chosen out of 149 applications. Michael Laris, Washington Post, "‘Going to mission!’: Drones are flying themselves, but how far should Washington let them go?," 23 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Attending a dinner party hosted by Dior in Cannes, France, Hadid experimented with monochrome by tackling one of the toughest shades: nude. Vogue, "Bella Hadid Has a Chic Way to Do Head-to-Toe Nude," 15 May 2019 Most recently, KoKo experimented with waist-length waves for NBC Upfront's event in New York City on Monday night. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "Khloé Kardashian Now Has Waist-Length Mermaid Waves," 14 May 2019 Retailers are still experimenting, for example, with mobile devices, which have been in use for at least a decade. Christopher Rugaber, The Seattle Times, "U.S. retailers hope higher pay will buy more efficient workers," 1 Jan. 2019 In fact, Harry's older brother and second in line to the British throne, Prince William, experimented with a scruffy look of his own in 2008. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Prince William Grew Out a Beard in 2008 and These Throwback Pictures Documented It," 16 Dec. 2018 The property also experiments with Cabernet Francs and other Bordeaux-style blends. Laura Ratliff, Condé Nast Traveler, "3 Best Day Trips from Washington, D.C.," 24 July 2018 And with bitcoin trading under $200, a lot of people started experimenting. Paul Vigna, WSJ, "Bitcoin Turns 10: Still Not All Grown Up," 31 Oct. 2018 The pastry pro revealed to Dr. Oz that she's recently started experimenting with alternatives to regular white flour, opting instead for other varieties that have more nutritional value. Heather Finn, Good Housekeeping, "What Martha Stewart Eats to Make 77 Look Like 45," 25 Oct. 2018 From a boy next door to a tattoo covered, long-haired skater, and everything in between, Justin has experimented a lot with his style. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Does Justin Bieber’s Birth Chart Prove He and Selena Gomez Were Doomed From the Start?," 10 Apr. 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

17 May 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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