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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun To set healthy boundaries around your own time this Spring, experiment with one or more of the tactics below. Lisa Bodell, Forbes, "7 Ways To Spring-Clean Your Schedule," 20 Apr. 2021 Some results from the experiment, which is designed to last 100 years, are already in: The sycamore trees grouped with their own kind are sprouting up faster than the ones sharing space with other species. Washington Post, "Along the Chesapeake Bay, Smithsonian scientists research at a vast outdoor laboratory," 20 Apr. 2021 Then in February 2019, Stockton, Calif. launched a guaranteed income experiment that gave 125 low-income families $500 a month, a program that gained national attention. BostonGlobe.com, "Cambridge to begin guaranteed income program for poor families," 15 Apr. 2021 In the film, four men undergoing various stages of midlife malaise attempt an experiment—inspired by famous functioning alcoholics like Hemingway and Churchill—to see whether a bit of day-drinking would rejigger their lives for the better. Lisa Wong Macabasco, Vogue, "Drunk on Life: How Denmark’s Another Round Became the Feel-Good Film of the Year," 13 Apr. 2021 Since March 2020, schools across the country have been ground zero in a massive, accidental experiment in universal free meals. Nick Roll, The Christian Science Monitor, "Should school lunches be free for all? A pandemic experiment.," 7 Apr. 2021 The experiment, which used a common lab set up to judge risk-taking behavior, involved students using a piece of software to gradually pump air into a balloon. Jeremy Kahn, Fortune, "No-code A.I. is coming. Is your company ready?," 6 Apr. 2021 There is one large-scale experiment that can offer some insight: the National Football League’s 2020 season. Alex R. Piquero, The Conversation, "What baseball can learn about COVID-19 case spikes and crowd size from the NFL’s 2020 season," 2 Apr. 2021 Specific details of the experiment, such as the number of participants and the timeline for a potential rollout to all users, were not readily available. Carly Roman, Washington Examiner, "YouTube testing feature hiding dislikes to combat 'targeted' campaigns," 31 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Despite weed being legal in US 17 states there’s still a hesitation for many Black folks to openly embrace and experiment with the age old plant. Siraad Dirshe, refinery29.com, "How Cannabis Is Sparking Collective Healing For Black Women," 20 Apr. 2021 Below, 15 members of Rolling Stone Culture Council explained how to encourage your team members to experiment and innovate during difficult times. Rolling Stone Culture Council, Rolling Stone, "15 Simple Ways to Help Your Employees Innovate (Even in Tough Times)," 20 Apr. 2021 Founded by Priyanka Ganjoo, Kulfi offers a colorful range of eyeliners to encourage beauty lovers everywhere to play and experiment with their makeup. Dale Arden Chong, Glamour, "35 AAPI and Asian-Owned Brands to Support Now and Always," 16 Apr. 2021 Baric notes that his lab is one of the few that has the biosecurity needed to grow and experiment with those coronaviruses. Jon Cohen, Science | AAAS, "Vaccines that can protect against many coronaviruses could prevent another pandemic," 15 Apr. 2021 The group plans to experiment with multiple avenues of autonomy for women in the NFT space and provide a safe space to learn blockchain/crypto art dynamics, while communicating in multiple languages. Marris Adikwu, Vogue, "How Women Are Carving Out a Space of Their Own in the NFT Market," 30 Mar. 2021 Buzz incites consumers to try new things, venture capitalists to put up the cash and entrepreneurs to experiment—even if, more often than not, pioneers wind up in the digital dustbin. The Economist, "Clubhouse may fade. Group voice chat is here to stay," 10 Apr. 2021 Meanwhile, home bakers used this time to experiment and do something new. Jasmine Ting, Bon Appétit, "There Are 10,000 People Waiting for These Filipino Doughnuts. That’s No Surprise.," 7 Apr. 2021 For many parents, remote schooling meant looser schedules and room to experiment; embrace the routines that retain calm and foster independence. Washington Post, "The pandemic has caused parents to slow down. Here’s how to preserve that pace.," 31 Mar. 2021

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Statistics for experiment

Last Updated

25 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Experiment.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/experiment. Accessed 6 May. 2021.

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on experiment

What made you want to look up experiment? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu jedi training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

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!