experimental

adjective
ex·​per·​i·​men·​tal | \ ik-ˌsper-ə-ˈmen-tᵊl also -ˌspir- How to pronounce experimental (audio) \

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 How to pronounce experimentally (audio) also  -​ˌspir-​ \ adverb

Synonyms for experimental

Synonyms

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

The plan would raise average benefits by 2% and ties cost-of-living raises to a highly generous and experimental measure of inflation for the elderly... The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Adding to Social Insecurity," 3 Mar. 2019 The lander, named Beresheet after the first book of the Torah, will ride in a Falcon 9 rocket along with an Indonesian communication satellite and an experimental Air Force mini-satellite. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "A Private Mission Hopes to Reach the Lunar Surface Without Help from Any Governments," 19 Feb. 2019 But in people, gene editing still is highly experimental. Malcolm Ritter, The Seattle Times, "Q&A on scientist’s bombshell claim of gene-edited babies," 28 Nov. 2018 Eugenie wore the brand to Will and Kate's nuptials in 2011, and the innovative, creative, and experimental label could speak to Eugenie's willingness to take fashion risks. Carrie Goldberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "What Princess Eugenie Will Likely Wear to Her Wedding Reception is #GOALS," 3 Oct. 2018 Those treatments are usually a combination of unproven and experimental therapies. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Crowdfunding raises millions for quack cancer remedies, like coffee enemas," 20 Sep. 2018 The model, after all, was not some garage hobbyist’s replica, but rather an experimental tool used to test out massive infrastructural interventions on the country’s most important river system. Nate Berg, Curbed, "Can engineering save Louisiana’s coastline?," 7 Nov. 2018 Back in February, Bloomberg introduced an experimental tool to track the Model 3 rollout. Fortune, "Tesla's Mad Scramble to Meet Production Deadline Is Coming to an End," 30 June 2018 The scientists had brought in an experimental statistical tool, called the Evaporative Demand Drought Index, or EDDI. John Fialka, Scientific American, "A Wyoming Reservation Shows the New Face of Drought," 6 June 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

10 Mar 2019

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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

experimental

adjective

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

experimental

adjective
ex·​per·​i·​men·​tal | \ ik-ˌsper-ə-ˈmen-tᵊl How to pronounce experimental (audio) \

Kids Definition of experimental

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

experimental

adjective
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 How to pronounce experimentally (audio) \ adverb

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