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 also -ˈspir How to pronounce experiment (audio) \
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

essay, experimentation, test, trial

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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

Large-scale pre-school progammes do not compare well to these small experiments. The Economist, "The benefits of pre-schooling may extend for generations," 11 June 2019 Music experiments might bomb or performances disappoint, yet the festival can produce a transforming effect on musicians and listeners if the intention is profoundly searching. Mark Swed, latimes.com, "Review: Ojai Music Festival witnesses Barbara Hannigan, Wonder Woman in Wonderland," 10 June 2019 The Sox have already lost Carlos Rodon to Tommy John surgery and released Ervin Santana after a brief experiment in April. Paul Sullivan, chicagotribune.com, "White Sox starter Dylan Covey placed on IL with shoulder inflammation," 9 June 2019 Teachers around the country have run similar experiments, typically recording dozens of trips to the board. Carolyn Thompson, courant.com, "Schools reckon with social stress: ‘I’m on my phone so much’," 8 June 2019 Some of Arkin’s experiments are likely to be employed on the moon orbiter known as Gateway scheduled to launch in 2024. Peter Fimrite, SFChronicle.com, "Long-term space journeys to allow humans to become almost completely self-sufficient," 8 June 2019 But the superstore titan’s latest gamble is an entirely new kind of disruption — the biggest real-world experiment yet for how workers, customers and robots will interact. Drew Harwell, Washington Post, "As Walmart turns to robots, it’s the human workers who feel like machines," 7 June 2019 Maritime Launch Services wants to build a private launch site to send satellites into space for use in near-Earth imaging, communications, and scientific experiments. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Rocket Report: A Yellow Sea launch, SpaceX’s upcoming high-value mission," 7 June 2019 Few American college grads will spend years immersed in a social experiment, but public health officials can prioritize resocialization around measles. Shobana Shankar, Quartz Africa, "What the United States could learn from Nigeria about taking on anti-vaxxers," 7 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The brewery is like a test kitchen, giving brewers the ability to experiment and produce beers on a production schedule that the full-scale facility in Fort Collins couldn’t keep up with. James Lynch, Popular Mechanics, "New Belgium Builds a Brewery in a Denver Hotel," 12 Apr. 2019 Maisie is no stranger to the bleach, though—she’s been experimenting with pastel shades of pink and purple since filming ended for season eight. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Maisie Williams Said Goodbye to Arya Stark With a Dramatic Blonde Hair Transformation," 21 May 2019 Hitman 2-ish IO Interactive keeps experimenting with new ways to sell Hitman 2. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "This week in games: John Wick tactics, a Blood remaster, and a survival-focused Ghost Recon," 10 May 2019 Instead, verbalizing my fantasies can allow some privacy and ambiguity while still experimenting with nascent desires. Nona Willis Aronowitz, Teen Vogue, "When Is It Safe to Send a Partner Nude Photos?," 2 May 2019 The team chose new, rough-sawn oak, then experimented once the beams were in place. House Beautiful, "Patrick Printy Designed This California Home to Bring the Great Outdoors Into Every Room," 19 Apr. 2019 In 2018 though, the beloved host revealed to Entertainment Tonight that her then 14-year-old had experimented with the K2 drug (synthetic cannabinoids). Selena Barrientos, Good Housekeeping, "A Timeline of Wendy Williams and Her Soon-to-Be Ex-Husband Kevin Hunter's Relationship," 11 Apr. 2019 Daimler joins other automotive companies experimenting with quantum computing’s potential applications. Sara Castellanos, WSJ, "Mercedes Enlists Quantum Computing to Build a Better Electric Vehicle Battery," 25 Feb. 2019 Attending a dinner party hosted by Dior in Cannes, France, Hadid experimented with monochrome by tackling one of the toughest shades: nude. Vogue, "Bella Hadid Has a Chic Way to Do Head-to-Toe Nude," 15 May 2019

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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Statistics for experiment

Last Updated

14 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for experiment

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

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More Definitions for experiment

experiment

noun

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

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

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

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