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

Synonyms for experimental


developmental, pilot, trial

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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

It’s more fun and experimental and full of care rather than chipping away at myself to fit someone else’s ideal beauty. Carter Schneider, Teen Vogue, ""I'll Be in Transition Forever": Trans-masculine and Non-binary People Talk Identity, Affirmation, and More," 6 Dec. 2018 The procedure is considered experimental and is largely funded by the Department of Defense through the Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine, National Geographic reported. Alexandria Hein, Fox News, "Face transplant gives woman 'second chance' 3 years after suicide attempt," 14 Aug. 2018 But after the success of 2010’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and 2012’s JAY-Z collaboration Watch the Throne, West’s has music became more experimental and less commercially viable. Stereo Williams, Billboard, "Drake's 2018 Has Been Huge. But Is He the Biggest Rapper Ever?," 13 July 2018 The show will kick off Saturday at 8 p.m. with the first of four summer happenings featuring Gang Gang Dance, Zap Mama and experimental composer Terry Riley among others — admission $30. Carolina A. Miranda, latimes.com, "Datebook: The force of fashion photos, underwater montages and Washington, D.C., feminized," 28 June 2018 The menu is as experimental and ever changing as the events in the arts space below. Christopher Muther, BostonGlobe.com, "It’s a great time for a summer sojourn to Montreal," 21 June 2018 But two years in, these passes remain experimental and hard to search out. Jessi Hempel, WIRED, "Why Lyft Is Trying to Become the Next Subscription Business," 20 June 2018 Egg freezing, especially, has become more common since 2012, when the American Society of Reproductive Medicine removed its designation as experimental. Alison Bowen, chicagotribune.com, "Figuring out what to do with extra sperm, eggs, embryos after fertility treatment," 14 June 2018 The experimental Cemeti Art House, which has graphic pieces from leading pop artist Popok Tri Wahyudi, and Ace House Collective both host frequent multimedia art and performances by Indonesian and foreign talent. Marianna Cerini, Condé Nast Traveler, "Yogyakarta Is the Cultural Hub to Hit on Your Next Trip to Southeast Asia," 16 Nov. 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

15 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for experimental

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

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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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