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

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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
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Democratic campaigns had trivialized the issue, even as the hearings were elevating it as a mortal threat to the American experiment. New York Times, 16 June 2022 The table below shows 45 companies which have committed to the experiment. Lila Maclellan, Quartz, 6 June 2022 Sometimes, the group switches it up, like a social experiment, to see if different things will change how students respond. Courtney Tanner, The Salt Lake Tribune, 2 May 2022 The project is a bit of a social experiment, too, to see if the reusable cup habit will stick. Jordan Hernandez | The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, 28 Apr. 2022 In 1905 the social experiment gave way to a hybrid apartment building and hotel. Jay Cheshes, WSJ, 26 Apr. 2022 The show is a social experiment where 100 people try to stay on a remote desert island for two months for a chance at winning $1 million. Naman Ramachandran, Variety, 26 Apr. 2022 Of course, no good social experiment is complete without a hilarious narrator — and Love in the Jungle is no different. Joelle Goldstein, PEOPLE.com, 8 Apr. 2022 Two years ago this week, the U.K. was, like much of the rest of the world, plunged into a huge social experiment — working from home. Roger Trapp, Forbes, 27 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Those two matches in East Asia are the only ones that Brazil have lined up for this international break, so head coach Tite won’t have much of a chance to experiment with his squad either. Steve Price, Forbes, 1 June 2022 Sure, Cannes has also had tons of tulle or sequin dresses, but these stars’ willingness to experiment with and commit to different fashion ideas has given Cannes a wake up call. Christian Allaire, Vogue, 25 May 2022 Cinema is such a costly medium that directors have little chance to experiment between features. Peter Debruge, Variety, 4 May 2022 What impresses him about Sobhy is her willingness to experiment. New York Times, 4 May 2022 The artist interpreted this as a chance to experiment. Carlos Aguilar, Los Angeles Times, 29 Apr. 2022 Scoring Manifold Garden was extremely unique because I was given so much freedom to experiment. Josh Chesler, SPIN, 27 Apr. 2022 Shenseea’s desire to experiment with her artistry has been a feature throughout her career. Sharine Taylor, refinery29.com, 14 Apr. 2022 The Diamonds’ willingness to experiment, explains Gussie, put them at an advantage over other acts. Patricia Meschino, Rolling Stone, 4 Apr. 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

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Statistics for experiment

Last Updated

24 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Experiment.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/experiment. Accessed 3 Jul. 2022.

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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

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