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 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

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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 Their experiment began with a surprisingly sophisticated drink for the subjects: vodka with lime juice and simple syrup—heavy on the vodka. Matt Simon, Wired, "Your Smartphone Can Tell If You’re Drunk-Walking," 7 Sep. 2020 When was the last time Dan Chisena — the talented but raw former Penn St. track runner who was the only undrafted rookie to make the Vikings’ initial 53-man roster — played defense before his three-day experiment in training camp? Mark Craig, Star Tribune, "Dan Chisena's speed and versatility win him spot on Vikings' roster," 7 Sep. 2020 His alligator blood experiment has its roots in his uncommon teenage reading habits. Tristan Baurick, NOLA.com, "Could Louisiana alligator blood be a cure for snake bites? This study explains how," 24 Aug. 2020 His experiment and a similar one in 2016 by Daniela Frauchiger and Renato Renner of ETH Zürich led to an outpouring of papers and heated discussion at conferences. George Musser, Science | AAAS, "Quantum paradox points to shaky foundations of reality," 17 Aug. 2020 None other than Frans de Waal, the world’s pre-eminent primatologist, lauded her unique experiment. Kevin Miyazaki, Smithsonian Magazine, "What Can Bonobos Teach Us About the Nature of Language?," 10 Aug. 2020 But when Káldy and Mozsár exposed the Russian sturgeon eggs to healthy paddlefish sperm as a control for their experiment, they were stunned to see that the vast majority of the eggs hatched into live hybrid offspring. Quanta Magazine, "Extra DNA May Make Unlikely Hybrid Fish Possible," 5 Aug. 2020 Pogo is revived, and Grace is relieved to have her science experiment back. Rachel Paige, refinery29.com, "R29 Binge Club: Umbrella Academy Season 2 Recap," 3 Aug. 2020 At 50, an age when many writers are just arriving at the height of their power, Jones might have been expected to tally the lessons from her experiment and keep moving. Calvin Baker, The Atlantic, "A Literary Movement Unto Herself," 2 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb International charter cities work like this: a new city is created within a sovereign country but is free to experiment with its own political and economic system -- usually one with low taxes and scant regulations. James Griffiths, CNN, "Hong Kong set the bar for charter cities. But it's not a blueprint that can be transported," 12 Sep. 2020 In recent years China has begun to experiment with grid fins to steer its rockets back to Earth—and eventually to potentially land boosters like SpaceX does with its Falcon 9 rocket. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Another Chinese rocket falls near a school, creating toxic orange cloud," 8 Sep. 2020 In the meantime, here's hoping Kendall decides to experiment with some more fun fringe in the future. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "Kendall Jenner Just Called Out Her Mom for Giving Her Uneven Bangs as a Child," 5 Sep. 2020 Seven-year-old Mirabel DeCelle-Burback, missed her teacher and her friends, but the loss was somewhat offset by being allowed to experiment with her parents’ sound equipment. Aaron Lavinsky And Alex Kormann, Star Tribune, "Minnesota kids on how they made it through the pandemic summer," 4 Sep. 2020 Then experiment with them in a non-green salad, a drink or a soup. Washington Post, "How to choose, prep and use all those summer cucumbers," 28 Aug. 2020 Businesses have also begun to experiment with cargo bike deliveries, which some local governments have encouraged to help alleviate traffic congestion and improve sustainability. Matt Mcfarland, CNN, "'The Swiss Army knife of bikes:' How cargo bikes went from novelty to practicality," 26 Aug. 2020 To hold otherwise, her lawyers argued, would be to ruin the ability of artists to experiment in the studio. Eriq Gardner, Billboard, "Nicki Minaj Wants Jury to Resolve Copyright 'Who Done It?' in Battle With Tracy Chapman," 25 Aug. 2020 Roasters and baristas love to experiment, and many have created their own unique versions of the drink. Tanya Edwards, CNN Underscored, "Coffee seltzer is a thing now — and here’s how to make it," 24 Aug. 2020

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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Statistics for experiment

Last Updated

15 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Experiment.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/experiment. Accessed 20 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for experiment

experiment

noun
How to pronounce experiment (audio) How to pronounce experiment (audio)

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
How to pronounce experiment (audio)

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
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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