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

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Other Words from experiment

Verb

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

Synonyms for experiment

Synonyms: Noun

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In addition to book clubs conducted on Zoom, there have been online video series teaching words in different languages, instruction on how to play role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons and STEM lessons with at-home science experiments for kids. Jon Arnold, Dallas News, "McKinney library system looking to help community with new programs," 13 May 2020 The program was supposed to launch this spring -- an experiment to test whether a two-person team of first responders could divert people who are homeless or in behavioral health crisis from jail or hospitals. oregonlive, "Portland’s homeless first responder pilot delayed indefinitely by coronavirus," 13 May 2020 The University of Exeter's Oliver Creighton, who led the latest study, and his co-authors argue that such experiments are typically done over shorter ranges, so the arrows are not fully stable and spinning in flight. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Medieval arrows caused injuries similar to gunshot wounds, study finds," 13 May 2020 After the war, in 1946, the Nevada was among about 100 veteran warships used for target practice for atomic bomb experiments at Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands. Stephen Smith, CBS News, "Wreckage of USS Nevada, battleship that survived Pearl Harbor attack and atomic bomb tests, found in Pacific Ocean," 13 May 2020 Weislogel has a long history of conducting fluid experiments on the space station. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Astronauts experimented with Nickelodeon's slime in space," 13 May 2020 Dave Weigel wrote of an an experiment comparing the two 2020 candidates' apps. Washington Post, "The Technology 202: Tech offices could look very different when employees return," 7 May 2020 Disney is also exploring ways technology can help with social distancing—experiments in this arena include using virtual queues at Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Isabel Garcia, House Beautiful, "Disney Is Exploring New Safety Plans for Reopening Theme Parks," 6 May 2020 As Travel + Leisure previously explained, scientists at Hiroshima University in Japan conducted three experiments in 2012 with 132 university students to better understand the human response to adorable animal images. Stacey Leasca, Travel + Leisure, "The Denver Zoo Baby Rhino Cam Is Here to Brighten Your Day," 5 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Comixology is also experimenting with comic releases. Christian Holub, EW.com, "3 comics to read in May: Grappling with a changing world," 8 May 2020 Boeing is experimenting with lavatories that can sanitize themselves in less than three seconds. Michael Laris, Anchorage Daily News, "Scientists think they know ways to combat viruses on airplanes. They’re too late for this pandemic.," 2 May 2020 Artists, exercise fiends and actors in a new theater form are experimenting now. Los Angeles Times, "It’s official: Coronavirus forces even postponed Game Developers Conference online only," 30 Apr. 2020 While many campus health centers focus on short-term counseling, Butte is experimenting with a 12-week program designed to address post-traumatic stress disorder. NBC News, "How will colleges recover from coronavirus? Campuses that survived disasters offer clues," 28 Apr. 2020 At least one of Nuro's rivals with smaller robots, Kiwibot, is also experimenting with delivering medical supplies. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Delivery robots move medical supplies to help with COVID-19 response," 22 Apr. 2020 Other places are experimenting, but the bulk of the beans come from other countries, particularly South American ones. al, "Coffee shops create sense of ‘normalcy’ amidst coronavirus shutdown," 22 Apr. 2020 The 54 workers currently living at Esalen are experimenting with early solutions. Gregory Thomas, SFChronicle.com, "Esalen Institute, a Big Sur icon, faces existential question during coronavirus crisis," 19 Apr. 2020 Webb is experimenting with Y and X splitters, valves that divide airflow for ventilators, potentially allowing two or three people to use a single ventilator rather than just one. Christine Fernando, Indianapolis Star, "IU deploys its 3D printers to help make protective masks for fight against coronavirus," 7 Apr. 2020

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for experiment

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for experiment

Last Updated

16 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Experiment.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/experiment. Accessed 28 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for experiment

experiment

noun
How to pronounce experiment (audio) How to pronounce experiment (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of experiment

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a scientific test in which you perform a series of actions and carefully observe their effects in order to learn about something
: something that is done as a test : something that you do to see how well or how badly it works

experiment

verb
How to pronounce experiment (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of experiment (Entry 2 of 2)

: to do a scientific test in which you perform a series of actions and carefully observe their effects
: to try a new activity or a new way of doing or thinking about something

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

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Comments on experiment

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