ex·per·i·men·tal | \ ik-ˌsper-ə-ˈmen-tᵊl also -ˌspir- \

Definition of experimental 

1 : of, relating to, or based on experience or experiment

2a : serving the ends of or used as a means of experimentation an experimental school

b : relating to or having the characteristics of experiment : tentative still in the experimental stage

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Other words from experimental

experimentally \ik-ˌsper-ə-ˈmen-tᵊl-ē also-ˌspir- \ adverb

Examples of experimental in a Sentence

The fuel is being used on an experimental basis. an experimental procedure for patients suffering from leukemia

Recent Examples on the Web

Jason Achilles Rock/experimental/instrumental 8 p.m. Fri. Aaron Davis, sacbee, "LA’s Jason Achilles brings ‘zen-like’ rock and blues meanderings to Old Ironsides," 6 July 2018 The 5,300-square-foot facility offers 24 beers on tap, including Left Coast’s core brews — Hop Juice Triple IPA and Trestles IPA — and experimental recipes produced on site. Ben Brazil, latimes.com, "San Clemente’s Left Coast Brewing Co. opens an Irvine location," 12 July 2018 Tests proved him right. Spraying experimental rice plants with artificial acid rain immediately cut their release into the soil of three relevant bacterial foodstuffs—fumaric acid, galactose and glucose. The Economist, "A cheap way to save rice plants from the effects of acid rain," 12 July 2018 In 1959, experimental director Kenneth Anger published the book Hollywood Babylon, which claimed to uncover the truth behind the Hollywood's most famous figures. refinery29.com, "The New Season Of You Must Remember This Explores Hollywood’s First Fake News Hoax," 9 July 2018 But Biogen has essentially gone all in on targeting amyloid — another one of its experimental Alzheimer’s medicines, aducanumab, is an amyloid antibody in late-stage trials. Sy Mukherjee, Fortune, "Biogen's Stock Is Soaring Because of Its Experimental Alzheimer's Drug — But Some Are Urging Caution," 6 July 2018 More than a dozen seemingly promising experimental medicines have flopped in clinical trials over the past three decades. Robert Weisman, BostonGlobe.com, "As drug development flounders, people fearing Alzheimer’s embrace lifestyle changes," 24 June 2018 In recent times, the imagination of experimental medicine has been dominated by mechanisms to alter human physiology. New York Times, "Surgical Checklists Save Lives — but Once in a While, They Don’t. Why?," 9 May 2018 The company has announced about $16 billion of deals this year, agreeing to buy Bioverativ Inc. to expand in hemophilia treatments and Ablynx NV to gain an experimental medicine for another rare bleeding disorder. Phil Serafino, Bloomberg.com, "Sanofi to Sell Generics for $2.4 Billion to Focus on Biotech," 17 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'experimental.' 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 experimental

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for experimental

Middle English, borrowed from Medieval Latin experīmentālis, from Latin experīmentum "testing, experience, proof" + -ālis -al entry 1 — more at experiment entry 1

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Last Updated

8 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for experimental

The first known use of experimental was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for experimental



English Language Learners Definition of experimental

: relating to a scientific experiment or to scientific experiments in general

: made or done in order to see how well something works

: using a new way of doing or thinking about something


ex·per·i·men·tal | \ ik-ˌsper-ə-ˈmen-tᵊl \

Kids Definition of experimental

: relating to, based on, or used for experiment He's trying an experimental treatment for the disease.


ex·per·i·men·tal | \ ik-ˌsper-ə-ˈment-ᵊl also -ˌspir- \

Medical Definition of experimental 

1 : of, relating to, or based on experience or experiment

2 : founded on or derived from experiment the heart of the experimental method is the direct control of the thing studied —B. F. Skinner

3 of a disease : intentionally produced especially in laboratory animals for the purpose of study experimental diabetes

Other words from experimental

experimentally \-ᵊl-ē \ adverb

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