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

For example, the law established a new federal office to support experiments by physicians and hospitals to improve quality and lower healthcare costs. Noam N. Levey, latimes.com, "Obamacare returns to court, creating new uncertainty about health coverage for millions," 9 July 2019 So Patel and Schulz, who is also a co-author on both papers, set up a new experiment. Author: Jason Bittel, Anchorage Daily News, "Snowball the cockatoo taught himself 14 dance moves, scientists say," 9 July 2019 Many other experiments have emerged: Voting on the blockchain. Klint Finley, WIRED, "The WIRED Guide to the Blockchain," 9 July 2019 The United States has a storied history of communal living attempts, from George Ripley’s Brook Farm utopia in the 1840s to Vermont’s back-to-the-land experiments in the 1960s, many of which failed. Chris Moody, The New Republic, "The Millennials Arrive at America’s Most Famous Hippie Community," 9 July 2019 But the designer only worked on the CMF (color, materials, and finish) of the Realme X Master Edition rather than the actual phone itself, which perhaps freed him up to experiment. Sam Byford, The Verge, "A story about phones that look like onions and garlic," 8 July 2019 So the way most life-detection experiments are proposed from NASA, especially in this era of exoplanets, where so many planets have been detected around stars, is to do spectroscopic studies of their atmosphere. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, "What If Life Did Not Originate on Earth?," 8 July 2019 The strikes shatter the previous record holder: 75 TeV gamma rays observed by the High Energy Gamma Ray Astronomy experiment located on La Palma, one of Spain's Canary Islands. Dennis Normile, Science | AAAS, "Highest energy light ever seen traced to Crab Nebula," 8 July 2019 Various science experiments will be used to save the aliens. Houston Chronicle, "Katy-area calendar of events," 7 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Dallas experimented with in-district charters years ago, but that contract eventually expired. Dallas News, "Fiery debate on charter school partnership reignites at Dallas ISD board meeting," 27 June 2019 Tudor experimented with a range of existing and new technologies before devising an effective and profitable method of insulating ice on ships and storing it in ice-houses of his own design. Srinath Raghavan, Quartz India, "Imported US ice helped 19th century British officials beat Indian heat waves," 17 June 2019 First Look The retailer is experimenting with digitization in one of its New York stores to manage it more efficiently, improve the shopping experience, and compete with Amazon. Christian Science Monitor, "Technology," 7 June 2019 Hopefully this frees up resources for Bossa to experiment some more with smaller games. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "This week in games: Iron Maiden sues 3D Realms, Larian teases Baldur's Gate III," 31 May 2019 Faced with declining harvests, the argument goes, European farmers began to experiment with potatoes, tomatoes, and maize, consumed more beef and milk, and found that manure and crop diversification helped increase grain production. Nathaniel Rich, Harper's magazine, "Ruina Mundi," 10 May 2019 With the prospect of Amazon and UPS drones dropping packages at your door and farmers surveying their fields from above, federal aviation officials are looking to experiment with looser airspace regulations. Allison Kite, kansascity, "Overland Park company to experiment with drones in federal pilot," 12 July 2018 With this idea in hand, the duo started experimenting with a numerical model of modern global subduction. Ben Horton, National Geographic, "What jumpstarted Earth's plate tectonics? New clues point to ancient glaciers.," 5 June 2019 The brewery is like a test kitchen, giving brewers the ability to experiment and produce beers on a production schedule that the full-scale facility in Fort Collins couldn’t keep up with. James Lynch, Popular Mechanics, "New Belgium Builds a Brewery in a Denver Hotel," 12 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

12 Jul 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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