experimental

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

Synonyms for experimental

Synonyms

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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 results of the latest trial show that a high dose of the experimental malaria vaccine has a 77 percent efficacy rate at preventing malaria infections over the course of one year. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "New Malaria Vaccine Trial Reports 77 Percent Efficacy Rate," 27 Apr. 2021 An experimental vaccine that targets the most dangerous form of the malaria parasite was found to have an efficacy of 74% to 77% after 1 year in children from West Africa. Meredith Wadman, Science | AAAS, "Malaria vaccine has striking early success after decades of disappointment," 23 Apr. 2021 The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, isn’t just testing Moderna’s experimental variant vaccine as a third-shot immune booster. The Salt Lake Tribune, "Tweaked COVID vaccines in testing aim to fend off variants," 13 Apr. 2021 Every country has different rules for determining when an experimental vaccine is safe and effective enough to use. Joe Taschler, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Pleasant Prairie site will play role in Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine distribution as UK approves vaccine's use," 6 Apr. 2021 But the results sure sound good: the experimental vaccine produced protective antibodies in 97% of participants. Sy Mukherjee, Fortune, "Buy a COVID vaccine, get an HIV vaccine for free?," 6 Apr. 2021 Each of the experimental drugs could prevent HIV infections operating alone, and the companies can pursue such prophylactic uses individually. Jonathan D. Rockoff, WSJ, "Gilead and Merck Join Forces to Develop Long-Acting HIV Treatment," 15 Mar. 2021 In 2019, The Associated Press included Atwater in a story about cancer patients seeking the use of experimental drugs. Meg Kinnard, chicagotribune.com, "Sally Atwater, wife of late GOP strategist, dies at 69," 10 Mar. 2021 In 2019, The Associated Press included Atwater in a story about cancer patients seeking the use of experimental drugs. Meg Kinnard, Star Tribune, "Sally Atwater, wife of late GOP strategist, dies at 69," 9 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for experimental

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for experimental

Last Updated

9 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Experimental.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/experimental. Accessed 11 May. 2021.

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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- How to pronounce experimental (audio) \

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 experimental (audio) \ adverb

Comments on experimental

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