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

Popular Science’s Kat Eschner reports that the scientists analyzed data from more than 100 experiments detailed in 23 lab studies of bees’ responses to floral scents. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "‘Safe’ Levels of Pesticide Still Hamper Bees’ Memory and Ability to Learn," 12 July 2018 Complex tells the story of West's pre-Yeezy experiment in the fashion world. Michael Saponara, Billboard, "Kanye West's Scrapped Pastelle Line Was 'His University for Fashion'," 10 July 2018 Since then, new simulations, lab experiments and theoretical calculations published as recently as last month have both justified the team’s calculations and explored different cases where their prediction starts to break down. Joshua Sokol, WIRED, "Flattened Fluids Help Scientists Understand Oceans and Atmospheres," 7 July 2018 Love the way artists experiment with moving pictures and you’ll likely be entranced, and for quite a number of hours; this is a big and time-consuming show. Steve Johnson, chicagotribune.com, "MCA's new 'I Was Raised on the Internet' exhibition asks what the web has done to us," 2 July 2018 The spacecraft will not carry humans to the surface, but will conduct experiments to measure the moon's magnetic field. Alex Stuckey, Houston Chronicle, "NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine wants to boost collaboration with Israel," 13 July 2018 In 2012, Facebook conducted secret psychological experiments on nearly 700,000 users. Krista Stevens, Longreads, "Accountability for the Algorithms," 13 July 2018 Scotland and the Netherlands are running experiments involving UBI and many others are set to follow. The Economist, "The welfare state needs updating," 12 July 2018 The team is about to start experiments to test that. Daniel Clery, Science | AAAS, "Ghostly particle caught in polar ice ushers in new way to look at the universe," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

On the other side of the city, a different group has been experimenting with 12 species of grass to concoct the perfect turf for the tournament’s actual playing surfaces. Andrew Keh, New York Times, "The 2022 World Cup Plants Some Trees and Prepares to Step Into the Spotlight," 12 July 2018 Tumblr, acquired through the purchase of Yahoo, has also been experimenting with video by distributing some go90 programming. Natalie Jarvey, The Hollywood Reporter, "After Go90's Collapse, Who's Buying "Snackable" TV Now?," 12 July 2018 The chain has been experimenting with a 5-pence paper cup charge in London, which will extend to 950 stores in the U.K. later in July. Julie Jargon, WSJ, "Starbucks to Eliminate Plastic Straws by 2020," 9 July 2018 The book begins with three long episodes from her life (Tyler has been experimenting more with jumps in time recently), before the narrative slips into the present. Charles Finch, USA TODAY, "Time heals family wounds in Anne Tyler's lovely new novel, 'Clock Dance'," 9 July 2018 The essentials: Archway Theatre has been experimenting with site-specific productions this season. Margaret Grey, latimes.com, "The 99-Seat Beat: Brecht, Faustus and 'Dead Boys'," 29 June 2018 Park officials have been experimenting with a beekeeping program to both discourage animals from wandering outside the park and to provide an economic lift to local communities. Christopher Bendana, The Christian Science Monitor, "Uganda's pride: Lions test locals' patience," 27 June 2018 La Familia has been experimenting with shrimp in this dish, Mariela says, as a nod to Connecticut’s desire for seafood. Leeanne Griffin, courant.com, "La Familia Brings Authentic Bolivian Food To Canton," 25 June 2018 And lately, the dude has been experimenting with a looser, baggier style. Tyler Watamanuk, GQ, "Justin Bieber Is Back, and on a Baggy Outfit Kick," 15 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

20 Sep 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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