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

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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 The need to explore, experiment, build a life and create — those activities resonate regardless of generation. Washington Post, "How The Sims navigated 20 years of change to become one of the most successful franchises ever," 4 Feb. 2020 Come experiment with combinations of ordinary ingredients to create something fun. Mary Jane Brewer, cleveland, "Here’s what’s on tap in the Medina County Parks in March," 4 Feb. 2020 Based on past experiments, the researchers say ocean acidification is likely to blame. Erin Malsbury, Science | AAAS, "Plankton shells have become dangerously thin. Acidifying oceans are to blame," 3 Feb. 2020 The two friends experiment with their favorite recipes and techniques, baking, cooking, exploring and collaborating with some of the biggest names in the entertainment and culinary world. Michelle Krupa, CNN, "Start your Monday smart: Super Bowl, Iowa, State of the Union, Israel, Solar Orbiter," 2 Feb. 2020 To government officials peering from around the globe across the English Bay into Vancouver, the city’s approach feels like a natural experiment, with tinges of woulda-coulda-shoulda. Aarian Marshall, Wired, "Vancouver Wants to Avoid Other Cities' Mistakes With Uber and Lyft," 1 Feb. 2020 The doctor who carried out the experiment, Dorian Dugmore, was in no doubt as to the warning contained within his findings. Rory Smith, New York Times, "At Chelsea, Lampard’s Experiment May Soon Become a Test," 1 Feb. 2020 For this tour, each show kicks off with the spinning of a wheel marked with about a dozen science experiments, from building a hovercraft to creating an optical illusion. Shannon Sutlief, Dallas News, "14 fun things to do the week of Jan. 31-Feb. 6 in Dallas-Fort Worth," 31 Jan. 2020 Of course, the bolder the experiment, the greater the risks. Popular Science, "The best way to steal signs in baseball," 28 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Rising temperatures can alter how wine tastes and where grapes can grow, prompting scientists and wineries to experiment with everything from new yeast strains to grape sunscreen. Jon Emont, WSJ, "Wildfires Spared Many Australian Winemakers, but the Smoke Might Not," 4 Feb. 2020 The news comes as Ikea continues to experiment with smaller showrooms in the heart of cities over its giant blue and yellow warehouses. Hanna Ziady, CNN, "Ikea is closing a UK store but it hasn't given up on city centers," 4 Feb. 2020 Altman is continuing to experiment with Oregon’s front court rotation, with Chandler Lawson taking over as the starting center in place of a struggling Francis Okoro and CJ Walker coming off the bench behind Shakur Juiston at power forward. oregonlive, "N’Faly Dante (knee) remains questionable as No. 11 Oregon Ducks basketball prepares for Bay Area trip," 29 Jan. 2020 Avoiding costly mistakes down the line Allowing kids to experiment with money gives them the opportunity to make mistakes early on — when the stakes are lower. Megan Cerullo, CBS News, "Average kid's allowance? Almost $10 a week, or $500 a year," 20 Jan. 2020 Creating this cybernatural work led Stern to experiment with various methods of destruction to mimic the effects of geological time. Arielle Pardes, Wired, "Nature Will Triumph—and Reclaim All Our Gadgets," 17 Jan. 2020 Srubar’s team plans to experiment with materials other than sand, hoping to make the bricks stronger. Sophie Bushwick, Scientific American, "Bacteria-Filled Bricks Build Themselves," 15 Jan. 2020 While creating two different versions of the same story could be time consuming, Conrad says that Quibi worked with filmmakers such as Doug Liman to experiment with filmmaking techniques for this platform. Natalie Jarvey, The Hollywood Reporter, "Quibi Unveils Turnstyle Video Technology," 8 Jan. 2020 This time, rather than record songs reflecting both idioms, Green has written original compositions that give him and his colleagues freer reign in which to experiment. Howard Reich, chicagotribune.com, "Best jazz albums of 2019: Dee Alexander, Miguel Zenon and Anat Cohen Tentet had a very good year," 27 Nov. 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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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

8 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Experiment.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/experimenter. Accessed 18 Feb. 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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