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 How to pronounce experiment (audio) also -ˈspir \
experimented; experimenting; experiments

Definition of experiment (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to carry out experiments : try out a new procedure, idea, or activity

Other Words from experiment

Verb

experimentation \ ik-​ˌsper-​ə-​mən-​ˈtā-​shən How to pronounce experiment (audio) , -​ˌmen-​ also  -​ˌspir-​ \ noun
experimenter \ ik-​ˈsper-​ə-​ˌmen-​tər How to pronounce experiment (audio) also  -​ˈspir-​ \ noun

Synonyms for experiment

Synonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The pandemic sent office workers home, ushering in the work-from-home experiment faster than expected. Aman Kidwai, Fortune, 2 Aug. 2022 In the first experiment, both male and female stalks were dangled in tanks with and without the isopods, which can grow to about the length of a AAA battery. Jack Tamisiea, Scientific American, 28 July 2022 What’s significant is that in the experiment with monkeys, neither the original SARS nor Delta RBDs were included on the mosaic nanoparticle. Wired, 28 July 2022 All four knew the names of the 20 toys used in the experiment, scattered randomly on the floor. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 27 July 2022 In a study to evaluate collaboration between retailers and suppliers, researchers from the University of Arkansas and the University of Akron found that women performed more efficiently than men in an experiment conducted with 214 students. Suman Bhattacharyya, WSJ, 23 July 2022 And 30 percent in the experiment actually lose height. Greg Presto, Men's Health, 14 July 2022 More than three dozen companies in the U.S. and Canada are participating in the experiment, with a total of 150 organizations and 7,000 employees involved worldwide. Hal M. Bundrick Of Nerdwallet, Chron, 8 July 2022 In an experiment performed a century ago, G. J. Romanes lined up 11 men behind him. Ned Rozell, Anchorage Daily News, 11 June 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Brands can experiment on the periphery with new products and business models without disrupting the core proposition or main source of revenue. Kian Bakhtiari, Forbes, 9 Aug. 2022 Subscribers can experiment with new pieces prior to their big day or simply rent styles to wear for all the wedding festivities. People Staff, Peoplemag, 3 Aug. 2022 Others experiment with the placement of the seams, which can be a weak point. Lou Dzierzak, Scientific American, 25 July 2022 By the late 1960s, a few other painters had begun to experiment with unstretched canvases, among them Richard Tuttle in New York and William T. Wiley in San Francisco. BostonGlobe.com, 27 June 2022 By the late 1960s, a few other painters had begun to experiment with unstretched canvases, among them Richard Tuttle in New York and William T. Wiley in San Francisco. Michael O'sullivan, Washington Post, 27 June 2022 Whether podcasts are being used to experiment with story, build IP, or to shed light on how films get made, Porter says it’s all positive. Addie Morfoot, Variety, 17 June 2022 Home cooks can experiment with mild and spicy versions of the zucchini and potato shakshuka for now, but the siblings plan to add even more combinations down the line. Megha Mcswain, Chron, 15 June 2022 Anyone can experiment with the fashion trend for its look, rather than trying to force a certain body type or silhouette. Seventeen, 1 June 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About experiment

Time Traveler for experiment

Time Traveler

The first known use of experiment was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near experiment

experiential time

experiment

experimental

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for experiment

Last Updated

11 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Experiment.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/experiment. Accessed 14 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for experiment

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 experiment (audio) \ noun
experimenter \ -​ˈsper-​ə-​ˌment-​ər also -​ˈspir-​ How to pronounce experiment (audio) \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on experiment

Nglish: Translation of experiment for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of experiment for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!